Cover image for An invitation to joy : selections from the writings and speeches of His Holiness John Paul II
An invitation to joy : selections from the writings and speeches of His Holiness John Paul II
John Paul II, Pope, 1920-2005.
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, in association with Callaway Editions & Leonardo Periodici, [1999]

Physical Description:
220 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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BX1378.5.J656 J64 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This volume brings together a selection of Pope John Paul II's messages with the most poignant photographs documenting his life both before and after his election to papacy.

Author Notes

Pope John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla on May 18, 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. He studied poetry and drama at Jagiellonian University. During World War II, he worked in a stone quarry and chemical factory while preparing for the priesthood. He received a Ph.D. from Rome's Angelicum Institute and a doctorate in theology at the Catholic University of Lublin.

He was ordained in 1946 and became Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow in 1958. He was a university chaplain and taught ethics at Krakow and Lublin. In 1964, he became Archbishop of Krakow and in 1967, a Cardinal. On October 16, 1978, he was elected as the first non-Italian Pope since 1523. On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot in an assassination attempt entering St. Peter's Square in the Vatican, but recovered fully.

During the 1980's and 90's, the Pope visited Africa, Asia, the Americas and in 1993, to the Baltic republics, which was the first Papal visit to countries of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). He greatly influenced the restoring of democracy and religious freedom in Eastern Europe and reaffirmed the Roman Catholic teachings against homosexuality, abortion, "artificial" methods of reproduction, birth control and priest celibacy. He rejected the ordination of women and opposed direct political participation and office holding of priests.

His extensive ethical and theological writings included Fruitful and Responsible Love, Sign of Contradiction, Redemptor Hominis (Redeemer of Man), Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), and Ut Unum Sint (That They May Be One). After developing septic shock, he died on April 2, 2005. He was proclaimed venerable by Pope Benedict XVI on December 19, 2009 and was beatified on May 1, 2011.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Definitely a gift book, this sampler of snippets from the pope's public utterances complements the recent biographies by Jonathan Kwitny (Man of the Century, 1997) and George Weigel (Witness to Hope, reviewed in this issue) very handsomely. Burke made the selection of sayings and summarily introduces each of the four sections into which he sorts them, "The Human Family," "The People of God," "The Dignity of the Human Person," and "A Lifetime of Devotion." Burke also introduces the first three sections' subdivisions, which corral statements on such themes as "Family" and "Women" in the first; "Mary" and "Other Christians, Other Religions" in the second; and "Human Rights" and "Freedom" in the third. Perhaps Burke's share of the book's wordage is larger than the pope's, for much of the page-acreage is allotted to big, beautiful colorplates (many of which occupy one or two whole pages) of photographs taken during the pope's many travels to meet and cheer the faithful throughout the world. Really, the pictures recommend the book, though the choice of sayings is admirable and their deployment sometimes strategically impressive, as when the subsection "For Life," concerned with some of the pope's most controversial positions, is followed by the subsection "Human Rights," full of his most acclaimed sentiments. --Ray Olson

Table of Contents

Archbishop Jorge Maria Mejia
Prefacep. 22
I The Human Family
Work and Rest
II The People of God
Forgiveness, Death, and Eternal Life
Other Christians, Other Religions
III The Dignity of the Human Person
For Life
Human Rights
Freedom, Peace, and War
Suffering and Evil
IV A lifetime of Devotionp. 200
Acknowledgmentsp. 224