100th Birthday St. John Paul II

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This Monday is the 100th birthday of St. John Paul II. In honor of the day, we’re taking a look at his legacy and our incredible relationship with him.

Saint John Paul II National Shrine

is a major initiative

of the Knights of Columbus

Located in Washington, D.C., across from The Catholic University of America, the Saint John Paul II National Shrine is dedicated to preserving the legacy of a pope who became a saint. The shrine is a major pastoral program of the Knights of Columbus, and a pilgrimage to the shrine fulfills requirements of the K of C Faith in Action program.

A major part of the shrine is the permanent exhibit, A Gift of Love: The Life of Saint John Paul II. This exhibit contains hundreds of artifacts, including personal possessions of the saintly pope, gifts from world leaders, liturgical garments and other items that reflect St. John Paul II’s teachings. Most of the artifacts are owned by the shrine, but some are also on loan from the Knights of Columbus Museum.

Explore these 10 unique items that are found in the exhibit as well as a few rarely displayed items from the shrine’s collection: View Slideshow

While the Saint John Paul II National Shrine is temporarily closed because of COVID-19, the staff is working hard to bring the shrine to you. Mass and prayer at the Hour of Mercy are being livestreamed daily while videos, webinars and other virtual content are available to help deepen our spiritual lives.

To learn more about the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, visit www.jp2shrine.org and follow the shrine on Facebook and Twitter at @jp2shrine.

Originally published in a special bi-weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline’s monthly archives, click here.


Celebrate John Paul II with these films, available to stream free online

John Paul II in America, narrated by actor Andy Garcia, as well as John Paul II in Ireland: A Plea for Peace and Liberating a Continent, both narrated by Jim Caviezel, are available via streaming for free during COVID -19.

Have a preferred streaming platform? Search for them on Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo, Vudu and more.


Saint John Paul II

Pope John Paul II reigned as pope of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State for 26 years from October 1978 to his death, on 2 April 2005. Since his death, many thousands of people had been supporting the case for beatifying and canonizing Pope John Paul II as a saint. His formal beatification ceremony took place on 1 May 2011.

I was fortunate to be in Rome at the Vatican shortly after that and toured the special exhibit which was setup in his honor. Enjoy these photos from this special exhibit. (Gary Pappin)