President of the Republic of Lithuania

Lithuanian and Polish Presidents reflect on the personality and work of Pope John Paul II on the centennial celebration of his birth

2020-05-16

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda and Polish President Andrzej Duda issued letters to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Saint John Paul II. Karol Józef Wojtyła – elected Pope John Paul II and canonized a saint – was born in Wadowice on 18 May 1920.

“We. Lithuanians and Poles, place immense significance on the personality of Saint John Paul II. For us, he stands as a symbol and a witness to history. However, we also see him as a co-creator of freedom in our region. His first apostolic journey to Poland and his unforgettable words “May your spirit descend and renew the face of the earth…” had a deep impact on the freedom aspirations of not only Poland, but also of Lithuania. This pilgrimage launched a process that ended in the collapse of Communism and the re-establishment of independence,” the letter signed by President Gitanas Nausėda states.

Pope John Paul II was a leading personality of the 20th century: a philosopher, poet, profoundly moving speaker, defender of fundamental moral values and Europe’s Christian identity. As leader of the Catholic Church, he sought to implement the reforms of the Second Vatican Council bravely and creatively. His teachings, the testimony of his personal life continue to touch people in their hearts and minds around the world.

2020 has been proclaimed the Year of John Paul II in Lithuania and Poland. The governments of both nations have designed many events to celebrate this anniversary.

The President‘s Communication Group

Last updated 2020.05.16 21:55

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