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100th birthday anniversary of Pope John Paul II


“Today, as we are remembering the 100th birthday anniversary of Pope John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyła, we want to share with the whole world the power of hope which he left for us as his heritage, particularly during these hard times,” said Deputy Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk as he initiated the programme to commemorate the achievements of St John Paul II and the Pope himself.

Deputy minister Szymon Szynkowski Vel Sęk JP2

18 May 2020 marks the centenary of the birth of our compatriot Karol Wojtyła, known to the world as the Pope John Paul II. It is a special occasion to commemorate this outstanding figure, whose work dominated and influenced the history of the 20th century. Through his pilgrimages to over 120 countries and meeting global leaders, the faithful and representatives of other denominations, St John Paul II became known as the apostle of dialogue. He was a great religious leader who touched people’s hearts and never forgot his roots.

On this important anniversary, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, joined by Polish diplomatic missions worldwide, decided to launch a social media campaign #JP2ForOthers to spread the knowledge of St John Paul II’s teaching and to remember this outstanding figure. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the focus is on online initiative, yet traditional events are also in abundance such as Holy Masses, lectures, conferences, seminars, or unveiling monuments in Tirana and Nicosia, to name just two. The missions’ initiatives included the “Travel with John Paul II” campaign in Budapest underground, recording Pope’s favourite song “Barka” in Indonesian, online concerts, podcasts or literary and art competitions for youth. Polish diplomacy promotes exhibitions to commemorate the Polish Pope, both prepared individually, related to the receiving country, and co-authored with the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II: “Karol Wojtyła. The Birth.” and “The Pope of Dialogue”. Thanks to the support from the Polish MFA, as well as the Polish Institutes in Madrid and Kyiv, Spanish and Ukrainian versions of the website are being prepared. The unique portal by the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II is dedicated to the holy pope.

Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to thank all involved in the commemoration of Pope John Paul II and encourages further engagement and participation in initiatives organised or co-organised by the MFA and Polish diplomatic missions abroad.


MFA Press Office


Photo and video: Gabriel Piętka / MFA