Born at Wadowice in Poland, Karol Józef Wojtyla grew to find youthful interest in poetry and theatre. During the Nazi occupation of Poland, Karol pursued a vocational call to the priesthood, eventually leading to his appointment as Archbishop of Kraków in 1964, then creation as Cardinal in 1967 and election as the 264th Pope in 1978. Taking the name John Paul II, he became the first pope not of Italian lineage in nearly five centuries. He enjoyed a papal reign of immense global influence and popularity.
In this icon, Pope John Paul II is imaged in the traditional white cassock and red cloak. To the upper right is his papal emblem, a symbol of his ministry which he placed under the protection of the Virgin Mary. He is depicted with gestures of welcome and blessing, as if to invite all into the message which began his papacy and sustained him during his many years as the chief shepherd of the universal Church, "Be not afraid!"
(This narrative is printed on the back of Note Cards. A copy is included with each plaque, print and photo.)
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever. Amen.
(This prayer is printed on the back of Prayer Cards only.)
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