Pope John Paul II, (Karol Józef Wojtyła, born 20 May 1920, died 2 April 2005)
Honorary Citizen of Warsaw since March 1996.
Resolution of the Council of the Capital City of Warsaw No. XXX/234/96 of 25 March 1996.
Polish Roman-Catholic priest, Archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal, Pope, Servant of God of the Catholic Church, knight of the Order of the White Eagle.
A poet and polyglot, as well as actor, playwright and educator. Philosopher of history, phenomenologist, mystic, representative of Christian Personalism, John Paul II was the first pope from Poland, as well as the first bishop of Rome who was not Italian after 455 years. When the Holy Father was put forward as candidate, the following was written, inter alia, "It will be a great honour to Warsaw to have among its citizens one of the greatest sons of the Polish nation. A Pole to whom the Fatherland owes more than to anyone else. /.../
The personal engagement of John Paul II contributed to the full recovery of freedom and sovereignty by Poland, to democratic changes, respect of human rights and the autonomy of individuals in our fatherland...
During his papal pilgrimages, he visited Warsaw four times. He was in the Capital City among the hopes and fears of 1979. In 1983, 1987 and 1991 his presence enlivened the hearts and minds of all, reminding about the most fundamental spiritual and moral values.
John Paul II was always eager to meet young people and devoted much attention to them. On 20 December 1985 he commenced the tradition of World Youth Days. Since then each year he prepared an address to the youth, which became the topic of this international meetings, organised in different parts of the world. It also took place in Poland - in 1991 in Częstochowa.
The Polish and Warsaw youth as well as the circles of Warsaw intelligence owe much to the Holy Father."