Poet, philosopher, playwright, peacemaker, political activist, pope: this is a brief look at the rich life of Karol Wotyla, whom we know today as Pope John Paul II. He was the most widely traveled of all popes, and made pastoral visits to 129 countries in all. He was instrumental in bringing about the fall of communism in Poland; it is said that the attempt on his life in 1981 was in direct response to his efforts to bring down communism.
John Paul II was a man of deep Christian love and commitment. He balanced the traditions of the Church with a need to re-establish it as a viable and modern presence in the world. Though many felt that he was too much a conservative, he was guided by his belief in the Church as a redemptive organization, and worked to make it relevant to the lives of Catholics throughout the world.
John Paul II: A Short Biography highlights his early years, his lifelong devotion to Mary, his outreach to young people, and his role as intercessor in seeking reconciliation with institutions and peoples alienated from the Church by past actions. This is a book to be enjoyed and treasured as we witness the recognition given John Paul II as a saint for our times.
Kerry Walters is a professor of philosophy and peace and justice studies at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He is a prolific author whose recent books include Giving Up God to find God: Breaking Free of Idolatry; The Art of Dying and Living; and Vegetarianism: A Guide for the Perplexed. More information can be found at http://www.kerrywalters.net/index.html.
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