10 years ago today: death of St. John Paul II

John Paul III’ll bet most of you remember where you were when you heard that John Paul II had died.

He had an amazing, long pontificate.

Here is a list of just his encyclicals.

1. Redemptor Hominis (Jesus Christ, Redeemer of Man), March 4, 1979.

2 Dives in Misericordia (God the Father, Rich in Mercy), November 30, 1980.

3. Laborem Exercens (On human work and social problems), September 14, 1981.

4. Slavorum Apostoli (Saints Cyril and Methodius, patrons of the Slavs), June 2, 1985.

5. Dominum et Vivificantem (Holy Spirit, Lord and Vivifier), May 18, 1986.

6. Redemptoris Mater (Mary, Mother of the Redeemer), March 25, 1987.

7. Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (True development of man and society), December 30, 1987.

8. Redemptoris Missio (The mission), December 7, 1990.

9. Centesimus Annus (The social question, one hundred years after Rerum Novarum), May 1, 1991.

10. Veritatis Splendor (Foundations of Catholic morality), August 6, 1993.

11. Evangelium Vitae (The value and inviolability of human life), March 25, 1995.

12. Ut Unum Sint (The commitment to ecumenism), May 25, 1995.

13. Fides et Ratio, (On Reason and Faith), September 14, 1998.

14. Ecclesia de Eucharistia (On the Eucharist and Its Relation to the Church), April 17, 2003.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. anna 6 says:

    Thank you for the reminder. Its hard to believe that 10 years have past. He was an extraordinary priest and pope.
    I haven’t seen much about the anniversary. I seem to recall several large events on past anniversaries of his death.

  2. Agathon says:

    I was two years away from becoming a Catholic, but I remember it well.

    Ioannes Paulus Magnus, ora pro nobis.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    I remember the day very well. He was the only pope I had ever known, and felt very much like an orphan when he died. I thank God that he is now a canonized saint.

    Sancte Ioannes Paule Magne, ora pro Ecclesia, ora pro nobis!

  4. The Cobbler says:

    I don’t remember the time it was for real (other than the black cloth on the church afterward). There were so many times it was falsely rumoured/reported before it actually happened…

  5. poohbear says:

    I was at a First Saturday program at the friary of the Franciscan of the Immaculate. They immediately celebrated Holy Mass on hearing the news.

  6. Fr Francis says:

    I also remember where I was when he was elected Pope – in St Peter’s Square. We had rushed there after the Academic Mass at Sant’Ignazio di Loyola in Campo Marzio.

    Ioannes Paulus Magnus, ora pro nobis

  7. Akita says:

    A great ambivalence fills me in regards to Pope John Paul II. I was always moved by his personal story and took delight in his athleticism. Seeing the pope in ski togs was thrilling. He was a thespian, a philosopher, a giant among men.

    Yet I am anguished over his legacy in the Church. If we believe in save the liturgy, save the world (and I do!) then a half century of the Novus Ordo and all its abuses may have gone far to empty our churches.

    Too, I’ve heard said that for most Catholics he was an avuncular Pole and what did that have to do with them? Many did not take seriously what he admonished.

    He was personally very holy and I embrace his sainthood. But did the Church truly prosper under his watch?

  8. Mitchell G says:

    Absolutely it did Akita, my faith itself is part of the evidence of that. Saint Pope John Paul was one of the greatest pontifs the Church has seen.

  9. pelerin says:

    I remember that evening vividly. I had just arrived in the Cathedral city of Reims in north eastern France and watched the continuous coverage from Rome on television of the last hours of Pope John Paul. Finally I could stay awake no longer and switched off the tv to prepare for bed. A few minutes later the bells of the Cathedral started to toll and I knew that finally Pope John Paul’s prolonged agony was over.

    First thing the following day I made my way to the Cathedral to join the many already there in praying for our late Pope. The Cathedral was already flooded with hundreds of candles and I particularly remember a young mother explaining to her three small girls dressed in their identical Sunday best dresses what had happened as they in turn lit their candles .

    Was it really ten years ago? I can still relive that moment when the bells started to toll and remember the immense sadness I felt at the time. We had lost a wonderful Pope and we felt bereft. And yet shortly after we welcomed our new Pope, Benedict XVI, who heralded in a new era for the Church. The Pope is dead – long live the Pope!

  10. Midwest St. Michael says:

    I remember it well.

    All of those people there in Rome to hear the announcement. He touched them all so much! There from all over the globe. I just sat and cried. (no Papalotry here, only to me we lost a giant of the Church)

    Our priest started an all night vigil in the Saint’s memory. He loved JPII. I came in at 3a.m. and there he was all by himself kneeling and in tears with a picture of the pope on an easel by the Altar. (God love you, Fr. Effie)

    We will be mining Pope St. JPII’s writings for many decades to come. Dang, the screen’s gone blurry.


  11. Kate says:

    Yes, Akita. He was great pope. The church prospered under Pope John Paul II, and when Catholics decide to read, study and reflect on his writings and teachings, the church will prosper even more.

    Your comments show an utter lack of understanding of this great man. I highly suggest you immerse yourself in all of his writings and learn from him.

  12. Eugene says:

    A great man, a great shepherd, a personal model of holiness, a courageous leader and a true example of courage and perseverance.
    St John Paul II pray for the Church

  13. Ellen says:

    I feel a very special connection to Pope John Paul II. He died on my birthday, and I have asked for his prayers many times.

  14. StWinefride says:

    “…and when Catholics decide to read, study and reflect on his writings and teachings…”

    One will find questionable things. For instance, the theology expressed in “Theology of the Body” is not Thomistic but is inspired by a (modernist) movement called Phenomenology. Dangerous.

  15. Kate says:

    St. Wienfride, some theological points (or even the basis) not being Thomistic does not make JPII’s “Theology of the Body” dangerous. Understood as it was intended, JPII’s “Theology of the Body” is an incredible gift to the Church. To me, a lack of understanding of this signifies not an error on the part of JPII, but a deficiency on the part of the critics. The good news is that through careful reading and reflection, even his critics can learn from him.

  16. tealady24 says:

    I remember the day very well. My mom fell and broke her hip and it was her 78th birthday. She didn’t last much longer; dying on May 29th.
    Our beloved St. JPII became pope on my parent’s wedding anniversary and his feast day is my wedding anniversary, so I feel a very special affinity to this most holy of holy men!
    He was very blessed by God!

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