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Five Million Photos of John Paul II

2009-04-06

Giuseppe Colombara
Director of the Photo Archive

The photographic service began with the pontificate of John Paul II, in 1978. From the moment of his election, all his activities were documented - day by day, moment by moment, including all the trips he made in Italy and throughout the world.

John Paul II was famous for his ability with the media. And in the Vatican archive it’s possible to view a great number of photos.

Giuseppe Colombara
Director of the Photo Archive

The archive hasn’t been studied numerically in a precise way. But we made some approximate estimations that show us there are about 5 million photos of John Paul II and his pontificate.

There are also some curious photos of the Polish Pope. John Paul II playing with children, the Pope as a fan of a Roman Soccer Team and some of him with animals.

Giuseppe Colombara
Director of the Photo Archive

One of the most curious photos is the one with the koala, the Australian bear in the Pope’s arm. He is obliging and kindly at the same time. He was, you could say, an admirer of nature, he had respect for nature.

Three years after the death of John Paul II, there are still many people who search for photos of this pontiff.

Giuseppe Colombara
Director of the Photo Archive

The interest is still very big, because the memory, the image, the fascination of John Paul II is still alive. We can say that as his beatification and canonization draws closer, demand will be even bigger than what it is today, and its never gone down.

The photos are on show to the public. So if you’re looking for a picture, the best way is to pay a visit and see for yourself.