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Rome Reports

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30 Years Since Beginning of a Momentous Pontificate

A new Pope had been elected – a one Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, a Pole, and the Archbishop of Krakow.

John Paul IIThey called me from a far country, but one always so close to communion in the faith and in the Christian tradition.

John Paul II became the 264th Pope at the relatively young age of 58. He went on to become one of the longest serving Popes in history – a pontificate that lasted 26 and a half years.

It’s been 30 years since that momentous event which ushered in a pontificate that would change the world.

He was a man driven by his pastoral concern for all Christians and by a sense of openness and charity to the entire human race. He was also fearless, and this was his motto from the day of his inaugural Mass.

John Paul IIDo not be afraid. Please, I implore you, with humility and trust, allow Christ to speak to mankind.

His pontificate was also one of the most widely travelled: he made 104 pastoral visits outside Italy and 146 within Italy. As bishop of Rome he visited 317 of the city?s 333 parishes.

And it all began that autumn evening 30 years ago when a relatively unknown cardinal burst onto the world stage and changed the course of history.