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The year 2014 marks the canonization of Pope John Paul II. He was not only the first Roman Catholic pope in history to visit Canada, but a church leader whose pontificate featured many firsts around the world. The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to celebrate Pope John Paul’s three visits to Canada, along with his many accomplishments, with an original coin designed in 99.99% pure gold.
Since the birth of the Holy Roman Church nearly 2,000 years ago, the Roman Catholic pope has been a powerful political influencer on the world stage. Unlike any leader of the Roman Catholic Church before him, the 264th pope, Pope John Paul II took proactive control of this global influence in order to criticize and combat political oppression.
• John Paul II became Pope in 1978 at age 58, making him the youngest pope of the 20th century. His pontificate was the third-longest in Roman Catholic history.
• Pope John Paul II was often referred to as the “Pilgrim Pope.” He travelled to 129 countries, covering a distance of 1.16 million kilometres over the course of his pontificate.
• Lech Walesa, the founder of the Polish Solidarity movement that brought down Polish communism in the late 1970s, attributed his movement’s success to his countryman, Pope John Paul II.
• Pope John Paul II was an accomplished linguist who was fluent in
12 languages. He spoke both French and English on his three trips to Canada.
• In 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot in St. Peter’s Square in an attempted assassination, but survived and went on to meet and forgive his would-be assassin.
• The date of canonization for Pope John Paul II is April 27, 2014.
Pope John Paul II was born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland on May 18, 1920. He lost his mother at 8, his brother at 11, and his father at 21. In Nazi-occupied Poland in the early 1940s, he studied for the priesthood in a secret “underground” seminary in the residence of cardinal Adam Stefan Sapiha, Archibishop of Krakow. During that period he is credited with having saved and protected a number of Polish Jews, in addition to having been protected himself by friends and family. He was ordained a priest on November 1, 1946, consecrated a bishop on September 28, 1958 (the youngest bishop in Polish history, at age 38), appointed Archbishop of Krakow on January 13, 1964, and created a Cardinal by the Pope Paul VI on June 26, 1967 at the age of 47. He was elected pope on October 16, 1978.
Pope John Paul II became the first pope to visit Canada on September 9, 1984. He travelled more than 15,000 kilometres over the 12 days that followed, visiting more than 17 cities, celebrating Mass, delivering homilies and giving speeches in a number of different venues. In 1987, he returned to Canada to speak in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, because his visit there had been shortened due to poor weather three years earlier. In July 2002, he made his third and last visit to Canada on the occasion of World Youth Day in Toronto, Ontario. His papal mass on the event’s closing day was attended by 800,000 people!
Only weeks after Pope John Paul II’s death on April 2, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI began the canonization process for the late pope. Pope John Paul II was beatified—a key step in the canonization process—on May 1, 2011. On
September 30, 2013, Pope Francis announced that he would canonize Pope John Paul II as also Pope John XXIII in a single ceremony, on April 27, 2014.
A stunning gift or thoughtful introduction to collecting for history buffs, followers of Pope John Paul II, and Canadian history enthusiasts.
• This beautiful 99.99% pure gold coin commemorates the life achievements and canonization of Pope John Paul II – the first pope to visit Canada.
• Celebrate an important moment in the experience of the Canadian Roman Catholic Church.
• A beautiful addition for any collector who enjoys religious history, unique design, or Canadian history.
• Your coin is GST/HST exempt with a limited worldwide mintage.
Your coin design is an artist reference of a photograph of Pope John Paul II offering Mass during his first visit to Canada in 1984. Through the expert application of varied finishes and skilled engraving, Royal Canadian Mint engravers faithfully capture the power of the moment as the pope raises the Consecrated Host at the elevation.
Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with standard beauty box.
Order your coin today!