Saint John Paul II developed a profound vision of the dignity of the human person, and he traveled around the globe to promote the respect for human rights especially freedom of conscience and religion.
His signature phrases, such as “Be not afraid,” and “Cross the threshold of hope,” changed the hearts and minds of believers and non‐believers alike.
The achievement and legacy of John Paul II inevitably bring us to Polish culture and history. St. John Paul II’s integral vision of the human person was formed and tested in the crucible of the centuries of oppression and triumphs in the 20th century.
“I am the son of a Nation which its neighbors have condemned to death several times, but which has survived and remained itself,” John Paul II said at an address to UNESCO; “it has kept its identity in spite of partitions and foreign occupations by relying on its culture. This culture turned out in the circumstances to be more powerful than all other forces."
John Paul II understood the importance of culture and its primacy over politics and economics. Thus, the story of Poland and the story of Saint John Paul II are deeply intertwined. To pursue one is to discover the other!