Saint Pope John Paul II was the head of the Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005. Born as Karol Józef Wojtyła, he is most recognized for his contributions to putting an end to the Communist rule in his native Poland, and eventually, in all of Eastern Europe.
Under his leadership, Pope John Paul II upheld a good relationship between the Catholic Church and Judaism, Islam, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. He also championed the Church’s teachings on matters such as the right to life, artificial contraception, the ordination of women, and celibate clergy. (Read: How Pope John Paul II Became A ‘Secret Activist’)
Known as the second longest-serving pope in modern history (next to Pope Pius IX), Pope John Paul II has visited about 129 countries during his pontificate. This has made him one of the most-traveled world leaders in history and one who has beatified and canonized over a thousand and 483 people, respectively.
Four years after his death in April 2005, Pope John Paul II was proclaimed venerable by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI. He was beatified two years after, in May 2011, after his intercession was attributed to the miraculous healing from Parkinson’s disease of French nun, Marie Simon Pierre. (Read: A Prayer for the Intercession of St. John Paul II)
Pope John Paul II was canonized by Pope Francis in April 2014. His feast day is celebrated every 22nd of October—the anniversary of his papal inauguration.
Prayer to St. John Paul II
O Holy Trinity, we thank you for having given to the Church Pope John Paul II, and for having made him shine with your fatherly tenderness, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit of love
He, trusting completely in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, has shown himself in the likeness of Jesus the Good Shepherd and has pointed out to us holiness as the path to reach eternal communion with You.
Grant us, through his intercession, according to your will, the grace that we implore, in the hope that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen.
Prayer from ewtn.com.