Known for his diplomacy, compassion, and keen insight, St. John Paul II had a special way of encouraging the faithful – unwavering in conviction while abounding in love. This week, as we celebrate his Feast Day on October 22, we invite you to reflect on 10 of his most profound and inspiring quotes.
On Our Worth and Purpose in Christ
“Only in Christ can men and women find answers to the ultimate questions that trouble them. Only in Christ can they fully understand their dignity as persons created and loved by God. Jesus Christ is ‘the only Son from the Father…full of grace and truth.'” – From his World Youth Day Address, 1993.
“We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.” – From his World Youth Day Address, 2002.
With Christ, Anything Is Possible
“There is no evil to be faced that Christ does not face with us. There is no enemy that Christ has not already conquered. There is no cross to bear that Christ has not already borne for us, and does not now bear with us. And on the far side of every cross we find the newness of life in the Holy Spirit, that new life which will reach its fulfillment in the resurrection. This is our faith. This is our witness before the world.” – From his Eucharistic Celebration Homily, 1995.
On Being Light in the World
“Darkness can only be scattered by light. Hatred can only be conquered by love.” – From his Address to the Diplomatic Corps, 2002.
On Freedom and Responsibility
“The best guarantee of freedom and its real attainment depends upon the responsibility of individuals and peoples, upon the concrete efforts of each person at his own level, in his immediate environment, nationally and internationally. For freedom is not something that is given. It is something to be constantly won. It goes hand in hand with the sense of responsibility that everyone must have.” – From his Message for the Celebration of the Day of Peace, 1981.
“When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of law engraved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society.” – From his Remarks to Dutch Catholics on May 12, 1985.
On Family Values:
“As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live.” – From his Homily in Perth, Australia on November 30, 1986.
On Faith and Reason
“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.” – From the Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio.
On Sharing the Gospel Boldly
“This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops. Do not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living, in order to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern ‘metropolis’…The Gospel must not be kept hidden because of fear or indifference. It was never meant to be hidden away in private. It has to be put on a stand so that people may see its light and give praise to our heavenly Father.”
– From his 8th World Youth Day Homily on August 15, 1993.
On Living Well
“Life is entrusted to man as a treasure which must not be squandered, as a talent which must be used well.” – From Evangelium Vitae, March 25, 1995.
Pope John Paul II was the first reigning pope to visit the National Shrine and is portrayed in the Our Lady of Czestochowa Chapel; the Universal Call to Holiness relief; the lower sacristy of the Crypt Church; Memorial Hall; and the Trinity Dome mosaic.