Saint John Paul II
Elected to the Throne of Peter in 1978, Pope John Paul II traveled the world, visiting more than 100 countries, receiving record numbers of pilgrims, and making a special effort to connect with the world’s youth.
As bishop, Wojtyla contributed greatly to the Second Vatican Council, equipping the Church to preach the unchanging Gospel of Jesus Christ to a rapidly evolving modern world.
Struck down by four bullets in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Saint John Paul II transformed his suffering into grace by offering it up for the whole Church and eventually even forgiving the man who pulled the trigger.
At the end of his life, Saint John Paul II bravely faced the ravages of Parkinson’s disease and, in imitation of the God he loved, once again offered up his own sufferings in union with those of Christ for the whole Church.