The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Christian Today
A tapestry portrait of Pope John Paul II hanging from St Peter’s Basilica during his canonisation ceremony at the Vatican, April 27, 2014.Reuters
Today is the birthday of Saint Pope John Paul II, the late Christian leader who has become an icon of reverence and inspiration to many.
The polish-born Karol Józef Wojtyła was Rome’s 264th Pope in the history of the papacy, and its first non-Italian pope in nearly 500 years.
His enduring papacy began in 1978 and ceased with his death in 2005, making him the second-longest serving pope in modern history. He is remembered as both a determined conservative, particularly on issues of contraception and sexual ethics, but also as a reformer who endorsed the developments of the Church’s Second Vatican Council.
John Paul travelled far, visiting 129 nations during his office, and developed a reputation as an influential leader and wise moral authority on the world stage.post was originally published on this site