Pope John Paul II Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member monkeys4ever
N 43° 38.635 W 079° 45.532
17T E 600100 N 4833073
Quick Description: This bronze statue of Pope John Paul II is located at St. Eugene de Mazenod Parish Church on 1206 Steeles Avenue West in Brampton, Ontario.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 6/27/2009 1:17:10 PM
Waymark Code: WM6NM8
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member rogueblack
Views: 6

Long Description:
Text from the plaque:

John Paul II - "The Pope of Peace"

This bronze statue was unveiled and blessed on July 21 the year of our Lord 2002 by his Eminence Joseph Cardinal Glemp - the Primate of Poland. The model of the statue was sculpted by Eva Riquelme, a Spanish artist who won an international design competition for this project. Father Adem Filas Omi - The founding pastor of St. Eugene de Mazenod Church, Andrew Krawczyk - the producer of this magnificent statue and the chair of the church fundraising committee, Michael Luchenski - the chair of the church building committee and the sculptress presented a miniature bronze cast model of the statue to John Paul II at the Vatican on June 19, 2002. The Holy Father approved the design and artistic merit of the statue that relates to a specific period of his life. That model was then placed permanently in the Vatican Museum. Both the model and the large bronze statue were cast using the ancient technology of lost wax and took several months to complete. The statue is over 5 metres tall and weighs well in excess of 1 metric tonne. The base of the statue is an allegoric representation of the Earth. "The Pope of Peace" has one foot in Canada and the other foot in China, a country the pope expressed his desire to visit. The roots growing under his foot represents the spread of Peace and Faith through his apostolic mission. The statue was sponsored by Dr Lien Chan - the former vice president of Taiwan and by Andrew Krawczyk - the principal of BLP Bronze International Ltd, a Toronto - based company.
Brampton, Ontario, Canada, 25 May, 2003

His Holiness John Paul II. (Short Biography)

Info taken from: (visit link)

Early life

Karol Józef Wojtyla was born on 18 May 1920 in Wadowice in southern Poland and was the youngest of three children of Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. His mother died in 1929 when he was just nine years old, and his father supported him so that he could study. His brother, who worked as a doctor, died when Wojtyla was twelve. He lost everyone in his family - a sister, brother, mother, and father - before he became a priest. He played sports and was particularly interested in football (soccer) as a goalkeeper.

After finishing his studies at the Marcin Wadowita high school in Wadowice, in 1938 Wojtyla enrolled at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and in a school for drama. He worked as a volunteer librarian and was an athlete, actor and playwright. He did 2 months military training in the Academic Legion because it was compulsory, but he refused to hold or fire a weapon.

While he was young he met many Jewish people who lived in that area. In 1939, Nazi forces closed the Jagiellonian University. All the able-bodied males had to have a job. From 1940 to 1944 Wojtyla worked for a restaurant and in a limestone quarry, and then as a salesman for a chemical factory. He did not want to be sent to Germany where he would be made to join the army. His father died of a heart attack in February 1941. It is believed that his father had been helping Jews escape from the Nazis.

On 29 February 1944, Wojtyla was knocked down by a German truck. He expected to be badly treated, but the German officers sent him to a hospital. He spent two weeks there with head and shoulder injuries. It was at this time that he decided that he must become a priest. When he came out of hospital, the young Polish men were being sent to Germany for training. He escaped to the house of the Archbishop and hid there till after the war. On the night of 17 January 1945, the Germans left the city. The priests and teacher and students went back to the seminary (Bible college), where there was a big clean-up to be done. Wojtyla volunteered to clean out the lavatories.

That month, Wojtyla he found a 14-year-old Jewish refugee girl named Edith Zierer who had collapsed from hunger while trying to reach her parents. He gave her food and helped her go to the railway station. She did not hear of him again until the day came when he was elected Pope.

Karol Wojtyla was ordained as a priest by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha on November 1, 1946. He then became the youngest bishop in Poland at the age of 38 in 1958. In 1962 he took part in the Second Vatican Council and helped write two very important documents. One was about Religious freedom and the other one was about the work of the church in the Modern World. In 1963 Bishop Wojtyla became Archbishop of Kraków. On 26 June 1967, Pope Paul VI announced Archbishop Wojtyla's promotion to the Sacred College of Cardinals.


Pope John Paul II became Pope on October 16, 1978. John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope for 455 years. He was pope for 27 years, making him the second longest serving pope, after Pope Pius IX who held the office for 31 years and seven months. He was also the first, and still the only Slavic pope. John Paul II was the most traveled pope in history with 104 international trips.

During his lifetime he learnt many foreign languages. He spoke Polish as his native language, and learnt Latin and Ancient Greek in school. On the day that he officially became Pope, he spoke to people in Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Czech and Portuguese. He also spoke a little Lithuanian, Hungarian, Russian and Ukrainian.

John Paul II beatified many people. This means that the Pope gave these people the title of "Blessed". One example is the painter Fra Angelico, who lived in the 1400s. After studying his life and teaching, it was decided that he should officially be called "the Blessed Fra Angelico". John Paul II gave more people the title of "Blessed" than any other pope in history. He also made many saints.

In 1984 John Paul II started World Youth Day which was first held in Rome and attended by about 300,000 people. Since then it has been held in a different country every year. It encourages young people to be faithful to God, and to live together in peace. Many millions of people have attended.

His travels

The first pope who traveled widely was Pope Paul VI. Like him, John Paul II liked to travel. While he was pope, he visited 117 countries.[13] In total he travelled more than 1.1 million km (725,000 miles). Wherever he went, he attracted large crowds. All these travels were paid by the money of the countries he visited and not by the Vatican.

One of John Paul II's earliest official visits was to his home country of Poland, in June 1979. There, he was always surrounded by happy, cheering crowds. The Pope wanted to bring freedom and human rights to his country. His visit encouraged Poles to oppose the communism, and in 1980 the Solidarity movement was born. On later trips to Poland, he made his message of support stronger. The Soviet Union had controlled Eastern Europe for many years. In 1989, Poland was the first country to begin to break free from the Soviet Union.

John Paul II went to places where other popes before him had already been, such as the United States, or The Holy Land. He also went to many countries that no pope had ever visited before. He was the first reigning pope to travel to the United Kingdom, where he met Queen Elizabeth II, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

In 1982, the Pope made a visit to Japan, and in 1984 to South Korea and Puerto Rico. He was the first pope to visit Cuba. During his visit in January 1998, he sharply criticized Cuba for not allowing people to freely express their religion. He also criticised the United States embargo against Cuba. In 2000, he became the first modern Catholic pope to visit Egypt, and met with the Coptic Pope, and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria. He was the first Catholic Pope to visit and pray in an Islamic mosque, in Damascus, Syria in 2001. He visited Umayyad Mosque, where John the Baptist is believed to be buried.

In 1988 he made a trip to Lesotho to beatify Joseph Gerrad. On 15 January 1995, during the 10th World Youth Day, he offered Mass to an estimated crowd of between four and eight million in Luneta Park, Manila, Philippines. This is considered to be the largest single event in Christian history.

After the attacks on September 11, 2001, even though people were worried about his safety, the Pope traveled to Kazakhstan and spoke to large audiences including many Muslims. He also went to Armenia, to participate in the celebration of the 1700 years of Christianity. He said Mass in local languages during some visits, including Kiswahili in Nairobi, Kenya in 1995 and in an Indonesian language in East Timor.

Throughout his trips, the Pope always showed his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He visited many shrines consecrated to her, notably Knock in Ireland, Lichen Stary in Poland, Fátima in Portugal, Guadalupe in Mexico and Lourdes in France.

Attempts on his life

On May 13, 1981, the Pope was shot twice in the abdomen by a Muslim fanatic, Mehmet Ali Agca. The pope was gravely injured.He barely survived the assassination attempt, and had to be treated in hospital for 20 days. The pope later visited Agca in prison. He had forgiven him already. Exactly one year later he traveled to Fatima to thank Mary, Mother of God for saving his life.

On this trip there was a second attempt to his life. A follower of the French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre tried to hurt the Pope with a bayonet. He was overpowered by the bodyguards of the Pope. Lefevbre and his followers were against the decisions of the Second Vatican Council. After this the Pope often travelled in a bullet-proof trailer known as the "popemobile."


Pope John Paul died on Saturday, on the eve of the Divine Mercy Holiday, April 2, 2005. The official time of death on his death certificate was 9:37 pm, but a few sources reported 9:33 pm. The death certificate stated that when the Pope died, he had Parkinson's disease, with serious breathing difficulties. The Pope had tracheotomy surgery in mid February but it did not help and he lost lots of weight. He also had an enlarged prostate, urinary infection and other problems. The cause of death were that his kidneys failed, causing blood poisoning and infection brought by septic shock. The Pope died while holding Archbishop Dziwisz' hand. His last word was: "Amen!" (Meaning "so be it", or "so let it be done.")

The Pope's medical team used heart-monitoring machinery for more than 20 minutes, so his real and true time of death was around 9:15 PM Vatican time. As tradition demands, his name was called three times. When there was no reply, his papal ring was broken, which meant the end of John Paul II's papacy (reign as pope).

Many people claimed to have been specially blessed by the reign of Pope John Paul II. Many people thought he should be given the title "Blessed". This usually takes at least five years (and may take hundreds of years). On May 13, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI cut short the usual 5 year wait for the beatification process to begin. The only other time (in recent history) that this has happened was for Mother Theresa, who was made the Blessed Mother Theresa by John Paul II.

If John Paul becomes a saint, it has been suggested that May 22 should be the official John Paul II Day on Church Calendar of the Saints. May 22 is 50 days after the death of the Pope. May 18 has also been suggested as his official saint day on the church's calendar. It's also Saint Pope John I's Day.

What John Paul II taught

John Paul II was generally against communism. He was also a critic of capitalism that was not controlled and he did not want people's basic rights to be oppressed by world governments. He was against abortion and contraception in general. As head of the largest Christian group, John Paul II taught a conservative theological view of human sexuality. On the subject he wrote 130 topics called the Theology of the Body. He was against homosexuality, and in favor of people starting families as one husband and one wife. On April 30, 2000, John Paul instituted a Divine Mercy Holiday, according to the teachings of Saint Faustyna Kowalska and on that day she was also proclaimed a Saint of the Catholic Church. The Feast of the Mercy of God is continuously growing worldwide. John Paul is also remembered for his devotion to the Consecrated Holy Communion, the Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

Associated Religion(s): Roman Catholic

Statue Location: St. Eugene de Mazenod Parish Church in Brampton, Ontario

Entrance Fee: none

Artist: Eva Riquelme

Website: [Web Link]

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