There are so many pictures of Pope John Paul II, over five million to be precise.
But now 12 of the best shots from his 26 year papacy can be seen in a brand new, 2009 calendar. And at least one of them has never been published before.
Director, Photographic Archive
For example, there’s this from the month of August. John Paul II is outside, but this picture wasn’t made public and has hardly been requested, but we wanted to publish it anyway.
There is this sense of greenery, of nature – a freshness that comes with the month of August, and that’s why we chose it.
Throughout 2009, remembering John Paul II will be easy thanks to the memories that these photos evoke.
Director, Photgraphic Archive
There’s that famous one where John Paul II plays ball with small children at Castelgandolfo, towards the end of summer, or when, jokingly, he protects a child with his cloak. These are all well known images. The cover is the most famous: our most famous photo available and it is the most popular since it was taken in 1999.
Photographer L’Osservatore Romano
In the picture he seems to be alone but in reality he was in front of tens of thousands of people in Saint Peter’s Square. For a moment he was detached from everything and was just staring at everybody. But it was just a second, a single moment that was caught.
A photographer has to look hard for these moments, specially with someone like the Pope who is never posing or looking into the camera. But John Paul II was naturally photogenic.
Fotographer L’Osservatore Romano
It was very easy to take his picture because every attitude, every position, everything for him was simple, it was natural and normal, making it easier for us to photograph.
Thanks to this calendar, the Vatican Photographic Service will make 2009 a year to remember...a chance to recall a Pope so loved by many.