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Pope Saint John Paul II


I was young the day that JPII died, but I remember vividly the feeling of loss, as though a dear friend had passed away. Of course I never actually met Pope Saint John Paul II, but when I was inspired to begin painting a series of saints his was the first image I chose. Only now do I realize why: one of his greatest messages was the call for this generation to a New Evangelization. I am this generation, and this is but one small I way I can share Beauty and Truth with the world.

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Dimensions 8 × 10 in


Karol Wojtyla was born into Poland in the year 1920. From a young age, he harboured a passion for theatre, and yet, as he grew into a man, he sensed God calling him to something more. Even war could not kill his desire to become a priest—indeed, in the darkness, that seedling only reached ever more toward the light. Threatened by hostile authorities, Karol was forced to study the priesthood in secret. When at last the war was over, he was ordained and continued his studies abroad, eager to use his gifted mind for God’s glory. A theologian, philosopher, and poet, Karol impacted many a soul with his wisdom and authenticity. Whether teaching in a university or camping on a mountainside, he drew people to himself, and through himself to God. His extraordinary ability to speak and live the truth did not go unnoticed; twenty years after being appointed bishop, archbishop, then cardinal, he was elected to be the 263rd pope, becoming John Paul II. Overflowing with a shepherd’s love for his flock, he travelled more than any pope before him, exploring the globe to embrace multi-cultured peoples. Wherever he went, he championed a culture of life, affirming the freedom due every human person. Even an attempt on his life could not silence him; indeed, he forgave the man who shot him. Ever tireless in serving the Church, he reached out especially to the youth, founding World Youth Day, an annual gathering in which youth from across the world come together to celebrate their shared faith. Age, however, eventually forced him to ease his pace. As his body began to betray him, he travelled less but loved even more, his heart and soul remaining faithful to his flock until his peaceful death in 2005.