May 18, 2012 1:59am
May 18: Remembering John Paul II's 92nd Birthday!
Blessed John Paul II was born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland, on May 18, 1920. He was the second longest serving pope in history and the first non-Italian since 1523. Acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century, he was instrumental in ending communism not only in his native land but eventually in all of Europe. Papal Artifacts celebrates the birthday of this beloved pope.
The artifact presented here is a signed copy of, Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II. It was published in 1995 and was signed by John Paul on February 15th, 2001.
The stories connected to the procurement of the artifacts in this Collection are often as enjoyable as the items themselves. The following story is one of them.
In the year 2000 Father Kunst traveled to Rome with his parents for their first visit. They had the opportunity to attend a private Mass with the Pope and have a private audience with him. They waited for him in his office. When Father Kunst introduced his mother to the Holy Father he said, This is my mother who is Jewish.
The Holy Father responded, A Catholic priest with a Jewish mother: beautiful.
After this quick interaction Cardinal Dziwisz (at the time, Bishop Dziwisz), the Pope’s private secretary, approached Father Kunst’s mother grabbing her hand and saying, Are you really Jewish? He acted as if in disbelief. She said, Yes, obviously affirming it.
Afterwards Mrs. Kunst wrote Cardinal Dziwisz a letter thanking him for the opportunity to meet the Holy Father. He responded and said it was a great thing to have her. The next time she wrote to him she ask him if he would ask the Holy Father to sign Crossing the Threshold of Hope, a copy Father Kunst had gotten at a bookstore.
Cardinal Dziwisz was able to orchestrate this.
Some months later he returned the book to Mrs. Kunst signed by the Holy Father.
All of this was a result of Father Kunst’s mother’s correspondence with the Pope’s secretary.
A very wonderful story, indeed.
You may view over forty artifacts belonging to or connected to Blessed John Paul (including one of the letters of correspondence between Mrs. Kunst and Cardinal Dziwisz) beginning on page 1 of the Papal Artifacts pages. Papal History features a you-tube of him, and Pope Benedict XVI's homily at the May 1, 2011 beatification of John Paul.
Blessed John Paul II: A Signed Copy of Crossing the Threshold of Hope 1978-2005
The book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II was published in 1995. This copy was signed by the Pope on February 15th, 2001. Here is the story: In the year 2000 Father Kunst traveled to Rome with his par... read more »
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