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John Paul II: A Light for the World
Essays and Reflections on the Papacy of John Paul II
Edited by Sister Mary Ann Walsh, RSM: Introduction by Bishop Wilton Gregory, President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Foreword by Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations


When Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope on October 16, 1978, he became the first Slavic Pope in history and the first non-Italian in 455 years. Taking the name John Paul II, the new Pope delivered a message in his first homily in St. Peter's Square that has resounded throughout his entire papacy: "Be not afraid"

Created for the occasion of his twenty-fifth anniversary as Pope, John Paul II: A Light for the World provides a celebration in photographs and words of the courageous pastor who guides more than one billion Catholics and has made his mark on history the world over. Elegantly designed and produced, John Paul II: A Light for the World features over 140 photographs--many of which seldom have been seen outside the Vatican--by official Vatican photographers who have captured the Pope's remarkable life and ministry for two and a half decades. These beautiful photographs are accompanied by selections from the Pope's own speeches and writings as well as essays and personal reflections by scholars and friends that provide insight into the public and private person of Pope John Paul II.

Organized into three sections--Pastor, Pilgrim, Prophet--more than forty essays by staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explore the depth and breadth of the themes central to John Paul's papacy, while nearly thirty personal reflections by cardinals, bishops, and others who have had personal encounters with the Pope reveal his profoundly human, and often humorous side.

A joint effort between the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Communications Campaign and Sheed & Ward, John Paul II: A Light for the World is the definitive commemoration of John Paul II's twenty-fifth anniversary as Pope. The book opens with a personal greeting from Angelo Cardinal Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State; a foreword by Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations; an introduction by Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the USCCB; and a historical sketch by John Thavis, Rome bureau chief for the Catholic News Service. Also featured in the volume is a comprehensive essential resources section that includes a history of the Pope's life and ministry; lists of canonizations and beatifications; his world travels, including visits to the United States; summaries of all his encyclicals, major Apostolic Constitutions, Exhortations, and Letters; and a complete chronological listing of his key papal writings. A glossary of terms and an index are also included. This book is an invaluable resource and keepsake for Catholics, spiritual seekers, those interested in history, and anyone who has been moved by the witness and hopeful message of John Paul II, who is truly a light for the world.

  • Author by Last Name
    Walsh, Mary Ann
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