Pope Saint John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyła (18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005), in Wadowice, Poland, became one of the most influential and beloved figures in recent Catholic history. He was elected as the 264th Pope in 1978, becoming the first non-Italian Pope in over 450 years and the second-longest-serving Pope in history. Pope John Paul II’s papacy was marked by his strong commitment to interfaith dialogue, social justice, and his opposition to communism, particularly in his native Poland. His visit to Poland in 1979 was a significant moment in the country’s history, inspiring the Solidarity movement and contributing to the eventual fall of communism in Eastern Europe. John Paul II was also a prolific writer, publishing numerous encyclicals, books, and letters. He was canonized as a saint by Pope Francis in 2014, and his feast day is celebrated on October 22nd. His legacy endures as a symbol of moral leadership, humanitarianism, and devotion to the Catholic faith.
Pope St. John Paul II
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