Today exactly is the 100th anniversary of the birth (and around 15 years since his death) of the Pope John Paul II – head of the Catholic church and sovereign of the Vatican city State from 1978 to 2005.
He was born Karol Wojtyla on May 18, 1920 in Wadowice in southern Poland and so far is the only Polish pope.
He was the one who taught us all a lesson about openness and accepting every human being with his feelings and needs. During his service he traveled to various spots all over the world.
He is known for a number of unprecedented speeches expressing apology for any wrongdoing perpetrated by the Church throughout history, especially with regard to Jews and Moslems.
As far as Poles are concerned, John Paul II was an ardent supporter of the Solidarity movement in Communist Poland in the 80s.
He was well-known for his extraordinary sense of humor which never left him even when he was appointed pope. One of the jokes that bring him to mind goes like this:
when asked how he was feeling, he answered: “I don’t know, I didn’t read the news yet”.
Here is a little throwback to one of his important visits and namely his visit to Israel in the year 2000
Read more about John Paul II (in Polish)