John Paul II is the most recognisable Pole in the world. And for good reason. He was responsible for changing the way of thinking about the world around us. He was the one to win the hearts and the minds of people of different religions and nationalities. He always highlighted how important the young people were to him. Did he achieve this only because of his position as the Bishop of Rome?
The answer is no. He had a profound influence on people thanks to his personality, and it was his position which made his messages more powerful. John Paul II was an open and sociable man. He loved mountains and nature so much, that he couldn’t imagine living without them even after being elected to serve as the head of the Catholic Church. Hiking in the mountains lasting up to several days and skiing were the Pope’s favourite pastimes. He loved people, especially the young, with whom he organised canoe trips and other forms of activities.
He was the driving force behind their actions and the initiator of the World Youth Day, an event gathering millions of people from all over the world. What people loved about John Paul II was his directness. He didn’t create barriers, he was eager to share his memories, like memories about having kremówkas, a type of cream pie, with his colleagues after school. He always answered the questions of children, no matter if they asked, “Does the Pope like to brush his teeth?” or “Which of the plays written by the Pope was the best?”. In his sermons, John Paul II frequently highlighted the importance of the young people. Many of his sermons are universal truths and still relevant today.
“You are highly ambitious, and what is wonderful about it, is that you are attracted by what is challenging and this is why we put faith in the youth.” – the Pope said about the young.
The Pope, as well as the Scouts and Guides, believed that the primary objective is the self-development of the young.
What made people from all over the world follow John Paul II was his willingness to share his feelings, the ability to listen and the lack of barriers between him and his interlocutors. He proved it by taking 104 trips abroad, visiting every continent and many countries neglected by previous Popes. He was eager to meet people regardless of their political opinions or religious beliefs.
Being one of the longest serving world leaders, John Paul II was able to make the world revolve faster, more cheerfully, reasonably and efficiently. His heritage will surely influence the flow of history in the future. The man able to make the whole world hold its breath and look in the same direction will never be forgotten.
text by Konrad Kmieć
Jean-Paul II est le Polonais le plus reconnaissable au monde. Et pour cause. Il a été responsable du changement de la façon de penser le monde qui nous entoure. C’est lui qui a gagné les cœurs et les esprits des personnes de différentes religions et nationalités. Il a toujours souligné l’importance que les jeunes avaient pour lui. Y est-il parvenu uniquement grâce à sa position d’évêque de Rome?
“Vous êtes très ambitieux, et ce qui est merveilleux, c’est que vous êtes attirés par ce qui est stimulant”, a déclaré le pape à propos des jeunes. “Et c’est pourquoi nous mettons notre foi dans la jeunesse.” Le pape, ainsi que les scouts et les guides, ont estimé que l’objectif premier est le développement personnel des jeunes.
Ce qui a fait que des gens du monde entier ont suivi Jean-Paul II, c’est sa volonté de partager ses sentiments, sa capacité d’écoute et l’absence de barrières entre lui et ses interlocuteurs. Il l’a prouvé en effectuant 104 voyages à l’étranger, visitant tous les continents et de nombreux pays négligés par les précédents papes. Il était désireux de rencontrer les gens, quelles que soient leurs opinions politiques ou leurs croyances religieuses.
Étant l’un des dirigeants du monde qui a servit le plus longtemps, Jean-Paul II a pu faire tourner le monde plus rapidement, plus gaiement, plus raisonnablement et plus efficacement. Son héritage influencera certainement le cours de l’histoire à l’avenir. L’homme capable de faire en sorte que le monde entier retienne son souffle et regarde dans la même direction ne sera jamais oublié.