On April 27, 2014, Pope John Paul II—the beloved leader of the Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005—was canonized a saint. Revered by millions of people throughout the world, the Polish-born “pilgrim pope” has long been embraced as a true man of the people. He was a manual laborer, an outdoorsman, a scholar, a poet, and a diplomat, who, from an early age, lived a life focused on sharing God’s love with the world. To honor his life and legacy, the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, DC, opened its doors to the public in 2014. An initiative of the Knights of Columbus, the shrine is not only a place of prayer, it is also home to an extraordinary exhibit on the life of Saint John Paul II. A largely pictorial book, A Gift of Love takes readers on a walk though this exhibit, where they can share in the inspirational world of this Holy Father.
Filled with brilliant photographs, insightful reflections, and illuminating words from Saint John Paul II, A Gift of Love is a fitting complement to the permanent exhibit. It is a window throughwhich readers can behold the beauty of an inspired life and reflect on his legacy. As they page through the various galleries, readers will discover the many significant personal moments and historic events that shaped the early life of Karol Wojtyła—from his birth in Poland to the threshold of his papal election. They will walk with him on his apostolic visits throughout the world, reflect on the major themes of his teachings, and suffer with him during the final days of his life, which he embraced as a gift.
At the moment of his death in 2005, millions of people throughout the world called for Pope John Paul II’s canonization—a plea that was realized just eight years later. A Gift of Love is the perfect title for this book, as it describes the life of this pilgrim pope, whose single purpose was to share God’s love with the world.
The Saint John Paul II National Shrine, located in Washington D.C., is a place of prayer, pilgrimage, and devotion for Catholics, yet welcomes people of all faiths. Initiated by the Knights of Columbus, it is a center for the study of the life of Saint John Paul II and the promotion of his legacy—a “new evangelization” with the purpose of building a new civilization of love. Its permanent exhibit, A Gift of Love, is made up of ten separate galleries, each focusing on a special aspect of John Paul II’s life and works.