Pope John Paul (then Karol Józef Wojtyla) was born on the 18th of May, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland. He was ordained a priest in 1946, became a bishop in 1958, an archbishop in 1964, cardinal in 1967 and in 1978 became the head of the Catholic church; pope. He was the first non-Italian pope in over 400 years. He retained this position until 2005 when he died. In 2014 that he was declared a saint.
St Pope John Paul did not specifically prophecize about events. He had a number of prophetic dreams, some of which came true but this was not what he was most well known for. Although he did not preach prophecies as Ezekiel did he was most definitely prophetic. He had a deep understanding of the human condition, and not just of the Catholics that he was meant to lead, but of the world as a whole. He had insights into the moral challenges of everyday people that most did not.
“Through the moral life,” John Paul II stated, “faith becomes ‘confession’, not only before God but also before men: it becomes the witness.”
Pope John Paul devoted his life not only to the Catholic church but to all kinds of people who had suffered at the hands of injustice. He feircly spread the word of God with such conviction and belief that many turned to listen when he spoke. For 27 years he was the most influential religious leader in the world and he did not waste any of the authority. As a man of God, his message and influence were mostly directed towards Catholics, but this did not stop him from reaching out to everyone else. Many people, Catholics and not were affected by his words and his work.
Pope John Paul was very much in touch with the people of his time. He had a strong ability to perceive how the people under his influence were feeling and he knew how to act accordingly. In his time there were a lot of issues like communism, capitalism and the legislation of abortion (something that the Catholic church is strongly against) that many others were trying to solve with violence and/or political movements. Pope John Paul used his voice and significant influence to effect change.
Behind every word that the Pope spoke was one clear message; ever human life was sacred. This was the backbone of his whole papacy. Many things that the Pope attempted to change or decree was based around Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Pope John Paul targeted many things like poverty, cruelty and oppression, all of these leading back to the sacredness of human life. He was a strong advocate against communism, capitalism, abortion, contraception, euthanasia, suicide and the death penalty. The Pope always spoke to spread Gods love.
Some of the Popes veiws were very controversial (such as his strong disbelief in the use of contraception) and although this didn’t turn people against him it made them start to think that maybe he wasn’t always right. Despite this many, many people still hung off his every word and held a deep respect for him and all the time and effort he put towards bettering this world. No-one could argue that his authority had been misused. This was extremely evident years after his death when he was canonized. His words are still used to this day as a guide to what the Lord would have wanted and how we can act in his image; as we were made too.