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Monday, 26 March 2018

Famous Polish People: Pope John Paul II

Dearest sweethearts,

#DidYouKnow that today, on the 26th of March, back in 1985, the Pope John Paul II proclaimed the very first ever World Youth Day? I don't know if you ever witnessed or been a part or a World Youth Day, but almost 2 years ago - summer of 2016, Krakow hosted the World Youth Day. Over 2 million extra tourists/pilgrims flocked over to come see the where The Pope preached and where he did service. The current Pope came as well and he addressed the crowds, just as Pope John Paul 2nd did, from the window in his room, next to the Dominican Church. 
Pope John Paul 2nd in Poland
But why is Pope John Paul 2nd a Famous Polish Person? He was the 264th Pope - his birth name was Karol Jozef Wojtyla. He was the 2nd longest serving pope and the very first non Italian for over 450 years! He held the office from 1978 to 2005 (his death). He loved to travel and meet people of all faiths, around the world - he visited no less than 129 countries. He firmly believed in orthodox ideals such as sexuality and abortion. He was also the one that was very open minded about accepting people of other faith - thus improving greatly relations with other faiths. 
The Pope and The Queen :)
He was quite an extraordinary man:
  • He was the first Pope to visit the White House. 
  • He was the first modern pope to visit a synagogue.
  • He is, even to this day, the most widely traveled Pope in history 
  • He re-established diplomatic relations with Great Britain after a 450 year break! 
  • His predecessor Pope John Paul I said this: "My name is John Paul the first. I will be here only a short time. The second is coming".
  • He had an audience of 300000 people who could not stop applauding for 14 minutes! During his trip back to Poland, as Pope in June 1979, he celebrated Pentecost Mass in the Victory Square to a crowd of 300000 people. At a certain point the frenetic applause lasted for more than 14 minutes! 
  • He has the honour of being the one human who has gathered the most humans together in one spot. In 1995 at the World Youth Day in Philippines, there was an estimate of 5 million people that attended the Holy Mass that he celebrated. It is considered as the largest human gathering from the creation of mankind.
But before being an amazing Pope he was an one-of-a-kind human being:
  • He was a key figure in the Polish struggle against the Nazis and he was officially placed in their "Black List" in 1944.
  • He did together and he saved the shows (most of the times) due to his fantastic memory - he had a passion for drama and literature and would memorize every line of every play (as a understudy). 
  • The communist party wanted him to become the archbishop of Krakow - is it not awkward that the person that they picked would end up bringing down communism?!
  • He went skiing until he was 73 - isn't that amazing! Sport does wonders for the body and mind - we should all take a lesson!
  • He was known as the "Daredevil of the Tatras" - a name he earned for his skiing skills in taking on the slopes of Poland's Tatra Mountains where he spent 2 weeks each winter. 
  • He skied for the last time at the Italian resort of Terminillo, 20 miles north of Rome. 
Have you ever met the Pope? Do you know any interesting stories or facts about him? I would love to know :)

Yours very much truly,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Admires Famous Polish People