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JPII: Did you know?

Kristina Glicksman

October 22, 2018
Pope John Paul II waves to the crowd during World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto.
Pope John Paul II waves to the crowd during World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. (CNS photo/Arturo Mari)
Born Karol Wojtyła in Wadowice, Poland, on May 18, 1920, by the time he died on April 2, 2005, St. John Paul II was the only pope known to a whole generation of Catholics. And to the rest of the world, he had been the face and the voice of the Catholic Church for more than 26 years.
At Salt + Light, Pope St. John Paul II holds a special place in our hearts and in our work. The founding of our network was inspired by his visit to Toronto for World Youth Day in 2002, and in fact, our very name comes from the theme for WYD 2002: “You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world” (Mt 5:13-14).
In our office we are constantly surrounded by the saint’s paternal presence. There are newspaper clippings from WYD 2002 on our walls, a stained glass window and relic in our chapel, as well as various objects he used during his visit to Toronto: from the table in our staff kitchen to the altar and presider’s chair in our chapel.

In honour of St. John Paul's feast day today, here are some fun stats from his papacy:

Encyclicals: 14
Apostolic Exhortations: 14
Apostolic Constitutions: 11
Apostolic Letters: 45
Planned speeches during Apostolic Voyages: 3,288
Visits outside Italy: 104 (to 129 different nations)
Visits in Italy (outside Rome and Castelgandolfo): 146
Beatifications: 1,338 (in 147 ceremonies)
Canonizations: 482 (in 51 ceremonies)
New cardinals created: 231
New bishops appointed for ordination: 321
Baptisms as pope: 1,501
Synods attended as pope: 15 (plus, 5 before)
Meetings with heads of state or prime ministers: 1,022
General Audiences: 1,164
World Youth Days: 9
World Meetings of Families: 4
Popes with longer pontificate: Bl. Pius IX (31 yrs); St. Peter (34 or 37 yrs)

*Official statistics from the Holy See Press Office

Want to read more about this awesome and beloved saint of the modern Church? Explore our brand new JPII webpage!