On April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II passed away. He was in his 27th year as pope, one of the longest reigning popes in history. Despite illness and infirmity, he tirelessly preached the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. He defended life in all its forms, wrote prolifically
on Catholic topics such as the Eucharist and the rosary, pleaded for peace in the
world and created more Roman Catholic saints than any other pope. It is said that
he was the most recognized man in the world and he is by far the most widely travelled
pope in history.