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Significant JPII Statues in Poland

Pope John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyła May 18, 1920 in Wadowice near Krakow, reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from October 16, 1978 until his death more than 26 years later, making his the second-longest pontificate in modern times after Pius IX's 31-year reign. He was the first (and only) Polish Pope and the first non-Italian Pope since the Dutch Adrian VI in the 1520s. According to Time Magazine's Top 100 persons of all time, he is one of only four people in history to have shaped both the 20th century and the early 21st.

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In the courtyard of the Catholic University of Lublin, this monument portrays a moment made famous by a photograph of Poland's Primate, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski greeting Karol Wojtyła following his election to the Papacy by the conclave of the cardinals on October 16, 1978. The Cardinal kneeled in front of the Pope who bent over and raised him up. The moment was rendered all the more poignant because Cardinal Wyszynski is said to have been himself nominated at the conclave but to have declined to be a candidate, advancing instead the candidacy of Cardinal Wojtyła. The sculptor, Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz of Warsaw. Unveiled on May 30th, 1983 the bronze sculpture rests on a granite base and rises to a height of six feet.

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Located adjacent to the cathedral in Łódz Unveiled on June 4th, 2000, the seven foot bronze statue portrays John Paul II as he appeared on his 1987 visit to the city. The monument is the work of sculptor Krystyna Faldyga - Solska. The three granite blocks that the Pontiff is traversing represent the three millennia of time that divide the present from the times of Christ.

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The work of sculptor Stanislaw Slonina stands on Łowicz's Market Square adjacent to Łowicz's cathedral. The monument was unveiled on the first anniversary of the Pope's visit to Łowicz on 14 June 1999. A copy of the monument unveiled in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a year earlier, it stands.

Jan Pawel II "Powroty do ojczyzny"

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Unveiled on November 26th, 2000, in Poznan adjacent to the cathedral the eight foot bronze statue portrays a dynamic John Paul II. The monument is the work of sculptor Krystyna Faldyga - Solska. In the wake of the Pontiff's death, the placing of candles in front of the monument turned it into a kind of spontaneous shrine, as shown in the photograph shown below, as time passed, the shrine became larger and larger.

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Located at the entrance of Wadowice's St. Peter's Church and the work of the Italian sculptor Luciano Minguzzi, the 9 foot high bronze statue John Paul II stands on a granite base at the entrance of the Church. Originally offered by the artist to the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, the monument was unveiled in Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla, on September 14, 1991 on the occasion of his visit to the town and his consecration of the Church.

His early reign was marked by his opposition to Communism, and he is often credited as one of the forces which contributed to its fall. In the later part of his pontificate, he was notable for speaking against consumerism, unrestrained capitalism, abortion, relativism and what he deemed the "culture of death". During his reign, the pope traveled extensively, visiting over 100 countries, more than any of his predecessors. He was Pope during a period in which Catholicism's influence declined in developed countries but expanded in the Third World.

John Paul II was fluent in numerous languages: his native Polish and also Italian, French, German, English, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Croatian and Latin.

Millions of people flocked to Rome to pay their respects for his funeral. Pope Benedict XVI, John Paul II's successor, waived the five year waiting period for a cause for beatification to be opened.

Jan Pawel II Wielki

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In Toledo a statue of John Paul II resides in front of St. Adalbert Parish on Lagrange at Oakland. It was dedicated October 29, 2006

Remembered in Toledo

John Paul II Statue in front of St. Adalbert in the Polish Village of Toledo
Photo credit Janet Gawle

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