Pope Francis signed the Preface of the book “100 Years: Words and Images,” published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, for the centenary of Pope John Paul II’s birth (May 18, 1920-April 2, 2005), reported “Vatican News,” on May 5, 2020.
In the Preface, entitled “Gratitude in the Memory of a Holy Witness,” the Pope hopes that this volume will reach “the hands of the greatest number of people, especially of the younger.”
Pope Francis also stresses the “great passion for the human” of John Paul II, this “witness of the Gospel who, as Pope, was “an example of how one can walk happy on the roads of the world, despite the difficulties.”
The 128-page book retraces the Polish Pope’s pontificate through a collection of writings, images, and famous phrases of the period after his election on October 16, 1978, up to his death on April 2, 2005. In addition to Italian, the work is also available in English, in a co-edition published by the American Paulist Press, and in Polish, in a co-edition with Wydawnictwo sw. Stanislawa BM, under the patronage of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland to the Holy See and the Polish Institute of Rome.
In the Preface, Pope Francis wishes to point out especially to readers “how this Pope suffered in his life.” He recalls his personal sufferings “linked to those of his people and of his nation, Poland, “ as well as family dramas, but also his sufferings while being Pope. After the “terrible attack of 1981, he offered his life, shed his blood for the Church and witnesses to us that even in the difficult trial of sickness, shared daily with the God made man, crucified for our salvation, we can remain happy, we can remain ourselves. One can rejoice over the certitude of the encounter with the resurrected Jesus,” writes Pope Francis
Pope John Paul II taught us to walk “with joy on the roads of the world, despite the difficulties, following the traces of the giants that have preceded us in the certitude that we are not, and will never be, alone,” adds Pope Francis.
Saint John Paul II was “a great witness of God’s mercy,” and it’s lovely “to remember him in a simple way,” fifteen years after his death <and> one hundred after his birth, concludes Pope Francis.