- Early Life
- Theology and Teachings
- Impact on the World
- Related Saints
- Related Prayers
- Birth: May 18, 1920
- Location: Wadowice, Poland
- Death: April 2, 2005
- Beatification: May 1, 2011
- Canonized: April 27, 2014
- Feast Day: October 22
- Patron Saint of: youth, families, and World Youth Day
Pope St. John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyla, is one of the most beloved saints of modern times. Born in Wadowice, Poland, Karol was raised in a loving family, and he experienced personal tragedy early on when his mother and two siblings died.
From an early age, Karol loved theater, poetry, and the outdoors. He studied philosophy at university until the Nazi invasion in 1939. Two years later, his father died of a heart attack.
Karol entered an underground seminary and was ordained alone. He was elected pope at age 58 and served for nearly 27 years.
Theology and Teachings
John Paul II was deeply devoted to the Divine Mercy, and he promoted it throughout his pontificate. He established the Divine Mercy Sunday feast day and canonized Saint Faustina Kowalska, who received the Divine Mercy message from Jesus Christ.
One of his most influential writings is Theology of the Body, his development of a comprehensive theology of the human body. He taught that the body is a gift from God, and it is meant to be used in a way that is consistent with this truth.
“JPII” promoted a culture of life, or respect for all human life, from conception to natural death.
He was an advocate for peace and justice and was committed to dialogue and interreligious relations. He met with leaders of all faiths and worked to build bridges of understanding and cooperation.
His legacy has inspired millions of people around the world to live lives of love, compassion, and justice.
Impact on the World
As pope, he made apostolic visits to 129 countries. He instituted World Youth Day, helped end communism in Eastern Europe, and canonized 482 saints. He even miraculously survived an assassination attempt and then personally forgave his attacker.
In his final years, he suffered from Parkinson’s and died in 2005 on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday.
St. Pope John Paul II Prayers
Saint Pope John Paul II is known for promoting a culture of life, writing extensive theology, and encouraging evangelization and interfaith dialogue. To pray for an increase in faith like his, you can say a prayer like this:
Oh, St. John Paul, from the window of heaven, grant us your blessing! Bless the Church that you loved and served and guided, courageously leading her along the paths of the world in order to bring Jesus to everyone and everyone to Jesus. Bless the young, who were your great passion. Help them dream again, help them look up to the heavens again to find the light that illuminates the paths of life here on earth.
May you bless each and every family! You warned of Satan’s assault against this precious and indispensable divine spark that God lit on earth. St. John Paul, with your prayer, may you protect the family and every life that blossoms from the family.
Pray for the whole world, which is still marked by tensions, wars and injustice. You opposed war by invoking dialogue and planting the seeds of love: pray for us so that we may be tireless sowers of peace.
Oh St. John Paul, from heaven’s window, where we see you beside Mary, send God’s blessing down upon us all.
Hail, oh Mother, Queen of the world.
You are the Mother of fair Love
You are the Mother of Jesus, the source of all grace,
the perfume of every virtue,
the mirror of all purity.
You are joy in weeping, victory in battle, hope in death.
How sweet your name tastes in our mouth,
how harmoniously it rings in our ears,
what rapture it brings to our hearts!
You are the happiness of the suffering,
the crown of martyrs,
the beauty of virgins.
We beg you, guide us after this exile
to possession of your Son, Jesus.
“O Blessed Trinity, we thank you
for having graced the Church with
Saint John Paul II and for allowing
the tenderness of your fatherly care,
the glory of the Cross of Christ
and the splendor of the Spirit of love
to shine through him.
Trusting fully in your infinite mercy
and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of
Jesus the Good Shepherd.
He has shown us that holiness
is the necessary measure of ordinary
Christian life and is the way of
achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession,
and according to your will,
the graces we implore,
through Christ our Lord.”
Pope St. John Paul II, pray for us!
St. Pope John Paul II Quotes
- “Remember that you are never alone, Christ is with you on your journey every day of your lives! He has called you and chosen you to live in the freedom of the children of God. Turn to Him in prayer and in love. Ask Him to grant you the courage and strength to live in this freedom always. Walk with Him who is ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
- “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”
- “The future starts today, not tomorrow.”
- “It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman.”
- Saint John Paul II National Shrine – Washington, D.C.
- Saint John Paul II Society – New York, N.Y.
- Saint John Paul II Catholic High School – Schertz, Texas
- Saint John Paul II High School – Windsor, Colo.
- Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School – Potomac Shores, Va.
- John Paul II Healing Center – Tallahassee, Fla.