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In the light of Christ risen from the dead, on April 2 of the year of the Lord 2005, at 9:37 p.m., as Saturday was coming to an end, and we had already entered the day of the Lord, octave of Easter and Sunday of Divine Mercy, the beloved pastor of the Church, John Paul II, passed from this world to the Father. The whole Church, in prayer, accompanied him in his passing.

John Paul II was the 264th Pope. His memory remains in the heart of the Church and of the whole of humanity.

Karol Wojtyla, elected Pope on Oct. 16, 1978, was born in Wadowice, a city 50 kilometers from Krakow, on May 18, 1920, and was baptized two days later in the parish Church of the priest Francis Zak.

He received his first Communion when he was 9 years old, and the sacrament of confirmation when he was 18. His studies interrupted, because the Nazi occupation forces had closed the university, he worked in a quarry and, later, in the Solvay chemical factory.

In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses of formation in the clandestine seminary of Krakow. He received his priestly ordination on Nov. 1, 1946, from the hands of Cardinal Adam Sapieha. Then he was sent to Rome where he obtained a licentiate and doctorate in theology, with a thesis entitled "Doctrina de fide apud Sanctum Ioannem a Cruce."

He returned to Poland where he had several pastoral duties and taught the sacred disciplines. On July 4, 1958, Pope Pius XII named him auxiliary bishop of Krakow. He was nominated archbishop of the same see by Paul VI in 1964. In this capacity, he took part in Vatican Council II. Paul VI created him cardinal on June 26, 1967.

He was elected Pope by the cardinals in the conclave on Oct. 16, 1978 and took the name John Paul II. On Oct. 22, the day of the Lord, he solemnly began his Petrine ministry.

John Paul II's pontificate was one of the longest in the history of the Church. In that period, under several aspects, many changes were witnessed. Counted among them was the fall of some regimes, to which he himself contributed. He undertook many trips to various nations for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel.

John Paul II exercised the Petrine ministry with untiring missionary spirit, dedicating all his energies driven by "sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum" and by open charity to the whole of humanity. More than any predecessor, he met with the people of God and leaders of nations, in celebrations, general and special audiences and pastoral visits.

His love of young people led him to initiate World Youth Day, convoking millions of youths in several parts of the world.

He successfully promoted dialogue with the Jews and with representatives of the other religions, convoking them at times to prayer meetings for peace, especially in Assisi.

He notably enlarged the College of Cardinals, creating 231 (plus one "in pectore"). He convoked some 15 assemblies of the Synod of Bishops, 7 ordinary general and 8 special. He erected numerous dioceses and circumscriptions, in particular in Eastern Europe.

He reformed the Western and Eastern Code of Canon Law, and created nine institutions and reorganized the Roman Curia.

As "sacerdos magnus" he exercised the liturgical ministry in the Diocese of Rome and in the whole world, in total fidelity to Vatican Council II. He promoted, in an exemplary way, the liturgical and spiritual life and contemplative prayer, especially Eucharistic adoration and the prayer of the Holy Rosary (Cf. apostolic letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae").

The Church entered the third millennium under his leadership and celebrated the Great Jubilee of 2000, according to the guidelines indicated in the apostolic letter "Tertio Millennio Adveniente." She then faced the new age, receiving guidelines in the apostolic letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte," in which the faithful were shown the path of the future time.

With the Year of the Redemption, Marian Year and Year of the Eucharist, he promoted the spiritual renewal of the Church. He gave an extraordinary impulse to canonizations and beatifications, to show innumerable examples of holiness today, which would give an incentive to the men of our time. He proclaimed St. Therese of the Child Jesus Doctor of the Church.

John Paul II's doctrinal magisterium is very rich. Guardian of the deposit of faith, with wisdom and courage he did his utmost to promote Catholic, theological, moral and spiritual doctrine, and to oppose during the whole of his pontificate tendencies contrary to the genuine tradition of the Church.

Among his principal documents are numbered 14 encyclicals, 15 apostolic exhortations, 11 apostolic constitutions, 45 apostolic letters, in addition to the catecheses proposed in the general audiences and the talks given all over the world. With his teaching, John Paul II confirmed and enlightened the people of God on theological doctrine (especially in the first three important encyclicals -- "Redemptor Hominis," "Dives in Misericordia" and "Dominum et Vivificantem"), anthropology and social issues ("Laborem Exercens," "Sollicitudo Rei Socialis" and "Centesimus Annus"), morals ("Veritatis Splendor" and "Evangelium Vitae"), ecumenicism ("Ut Unum Sint"), missiology ("Redemptoris Mission") and Mariology ("Redemptoris Mater").

He promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in the light of tradition, authoritatively interpreted by Vatican Council II. He also published some volumes as a Ph.D.

His magisterium culminated, during the Year of the Eucharist, in the Encyclical "Ecclesia de Eucharistia" and in the Apostolic Letter "Mane Nobiscum Domine."

John Paul II left all an admirable testimony of piety, sanctity and universal paternity.

(Signatures of the witnesses of the burial ceremonies …)



Semper in Christo vivas, Pater Sancte!


In lumine Christi a mortuis Resurgentis, die II mensis Aprilis anno Domini MMV, hora vicesima prima, triginta septem momentis elapsis, vesperi, cum dies sabbati ad finem vergeret atque ingressi essemus diem Domini, Octavam scilicet Paschalem necnon Dominicam Divinae Misericordiae, Ecclesiae dilectus Pastor, Ioannes Paulus II de hoc mundo ad Patrem demigravit. Eius transitum tota orans Ecclesia est comitata, Iuvenes potissimum.

Ioannes Paulus II ducentesimus sexagesimus quartus fuit Pontifex. Eius memoria in totius Ecclesiae omniumque hominum cordibus manet.

Carolus Wojty³a, qui die XVI Octobris anno MCMLXXVIII Summus Pontifex electus est, Wadowice, in urbe scilicet quae quinquaginta kiliometra abest a Cracovia, die XVIII mensis Maii anno MCMXX natus est atque duobus post diebus in paroeciali Templo a presbytero Francisco Zak baptizatus est.

Novem annos natus Primam Communionem recepit atque duodevicesimum agens annum confirmatus est.

Quibus incumbebat, studiis intermissis, quia nationalis socialismi obsidentes potestates studiorum universitatem clauserant, in lapidicinis ab anno MCMXL ad annum MCMXLIV, et postea in fabrica chemica Solvay opus fecit.

Ab anno MCMXLII, cum se ad sacerdotium vocari sentiret, seminarium clandestinum adiit Cracoviense. Die I mensis Novembris anno MCMXLVI per Cardinalis Adami Sapieha manuum impositionem sacerdotalem ordinationem Cracoviae recepit. Romam posthac missus est, ubi primum licentiam, exinde doctoratum in sacra theologia est consecutus, thesim scribens, cuius titulus Doctrina de fide apud Sanctum Ioannem a Cruce.

Poloniam postea repetiit, ubi quaedam sustinuit officia pastoralia et quasdam disciplinas sacras docuit. Die IV mensis Iulii anno MCMLVIII a Pio XII Episcopus Auxiliaris Cracoviensis constitutus est atque eidem Sedi a Paulo VI Archiepiscopus anno MCMLXIV est destinatus. Ut Archiepiscopus Cracoviensis Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano II interfuit. Paulus VI die XXVI mensis Iunii anno MCMLXVII in Patrum Cardinalium Collegium eum rettulit.

In Conclavi die XVI mensis Octobris anno MCMLXXVIII Summus Pontifex a Patribus Cardinalibus electus est atque ipse sibi nomen imposuit Ioannem Paulum II. Subsequenti die XXII, Dominico die, sollemniter suum Petrinum ministerium incohavit.

Pontificatus Ioannis Pauli II unus ex longissimis in Ecclesiae historia exstitit. Hoc temporis spatio multa sunt commutata variis in provinciis. In his communistarum quarundam nationum regiminum dissolutiones annumerantur, ad quam rem multum contulit ipse Summus Pontifex. Evangelii nuntiandi causa innumera quoque itinera varias in nationes suscepit.

Ministerium Petrinum strenuo suo missionali animo gessit, omnes impendens suas vires, cum sollicitudo omnium Ecclesiarum itemque in cunctos homines caritas eum tenerent. Magis quam antea unquam Dei Populum ac Nationum Potestates, in Celebrationibus, in generalibus peculiaribusque Audientiis atque pastoralibus Visitationibus ipse convenit.

In iuvenes dilectio eum compulit ut Dies Mundiales Iuventutis ediceret, innumeris undique gentium convocatis iuvenibus.

Dialogum cum Hebraeis multisque ceterarum religionum sectatoribus promovit atque earum asseclas nonnumquam convocavit causa pro pace precandi, Asisii potissimum.

Cardinalium Collegium valde auxit, cum eligerentur ab eo ducenti triginta et unus cardinales (et unus in pectore). Quindecim Congressiones Synodorum Episcoporum, scilicet septem generales ordinarias et octo speciales convocavit. Complures Dioeceses ecclesiasticasque Circumscriptiones, praesertim in Europa orientali, constituit. Codicem Iuris Canonici et Codicem Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium reformavit Romanamque Curiam denuo composuit.

Sicut "sacerdos magnus" in Romana Dioecesi totoque terrarum orbe sacrae liturgiae ministerium exercuit, erga Concilium Vaticanum II plena servata fidelitate. Peculiarem in modum vitam spiritalitatemque liturgicam necnon comtemplativam orationem, eucharisticam potissimum adorationem sanctique Rosarii precationem promovit (cfr Ep. ap. Rosarium Virginis Mariae).

Summi Pontificis ductu Ecclesia tertio millennio se appropinquavit ac Magnum Iubilaeum anni bismillesimi celebravit, secundum normas ab ipso latas Litterarum apostolicarum Tertio millennio adveniente. Exinde novum aevum eadem est ingressa consilia propositaque recipiens in Litteris apostolicis Novo millennio ineunte significata, quibus futuri temporis iter fidelibus ille demonstrabat.

Per Redemptionis Annum, Marialem Annum et Eucharistiae Annum effecit ut Ecclesia spiritaliter renovaretur. Multum dedit operae beatificationibus et canonizationibus, ut innumera sanctitatis exempla hodiernae aetatis ostenderet, quae incitamento essent qui nunc sunt hominibus. Teresiam a Iesu Infante Ecclesiae Doctorem declaravit.

Doctrinae magisterium luculenter Ioannes Paulus II exercuit. Fidei depositi custos, prudenter animoseque ad catholicam doctrinam, theologicam, moralem spiritalemque provehendam operam navavit et ad arcenda quae verae Ecclesiae traditioni sunt adversa toto Pontificatus tempore sollicite incubuit.

Inter praecipua documenta quattuordecim Litterae encyclicae, quindecim Adhortationes apostolicae, undecim Constitutiones apostolicae, quadraginta quinque Litterae apostolicae, praeter catecheses in generalibus Audientiis ac adlocutiones ubique terrarum habitas, annumerantur. Suam per docendi operam Ioannes Paulus II Dei Populum confirmavit eique theologicam doctrinam (tribus potissimum praecipuis Litteris encyclicis, scilicet Redemptor hominis, Dives in misericordia, Dominum et vivificantem), anthropologicam socialemque (Litteris encyclicis Laborem exercens, Sollicitudo rei socialis, Centesimus annus), moralem (Litteris encyclicis Veritatis splendor, Evangelium vitae), oecumenicam (Litteris encyclicis Ut unum sint), missiologicam (Litteris encyclicis Redemptoris missio), mariologicam (Litteris encyclicis Redemptoris Mater) tradidit.

Catechismus Ecclesiae Catholicae, sub Revelationis lumine, quam Concilium Vaticanum II insigniter collustravit, ab eo est promulgatus. Quaedam etiam volumina uti privatus Doctor edidit.

Eius magisterium in Litteris encyclicis Ecclesia de Eucharistia et Litteris apostolicis Mane nobiscum Domine, Eucharistiae Anno, attigit fastigium.

Mirabiles pietatis, sanctitatis vitae universalisque paternitatis cunctis hominibus testificationes reliquit Ioannes Paulus II.

Celebrationum tumulationisque testes



Semper in Christo vivas, Pater Sancte!



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