Inspiration from St. John Paul II

The feast day of the third longest-serving pope is Oct. 22

St. John Paul II, 1979/ L'Osservatore Romano

Born Karol Józef Wojtyła, St. John Paul II served as pope from Oct. 16, 1978, to his death on April 2, 2005. Pope Francis canonized him on April 272014.

St. John Paul II was well-known for being an advocate of human rights and using his influence for political change. In honor of his feast day on Oct. 22, here are five quotes from his tenure as pope.

St. John Paul II, pray for us!

Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ!

— Homily at Mass for his inauguration as pope, Oct. 221978


It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.

— Address at World Youth Day, Aug. 19, 2000, Rome


We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery – the mystery of his death and resurrection. “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”

Angelus given in Adelaide, Australia, Nov. 30, 1986


Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself.

— Fides et ratio (On the Relationship Between Faith and Reason), Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Sept. 14, 1998


There is no evil to be faced that Christ does not face with us. There is no enemy that Christ has not already conquered. There is no cross to bear that Christ has not already borne for us, and does not now bear with us.”

— Homily, Oct. 8, 1995, Baltimore

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