Today in History: April 2, Pope John Paul II dies

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II, the beloved spiritual leader of the Catholic Church.

On April 2, 2005, the world mourned the passing of the beloved Pope, who had served as head of the Catholic Church for 26 years.

John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyła in Wadowice, Poland, was the first non-Italian pope elected in 455 years. He was elected in 1978 at the age of 58 and was the third-longest serving pope in history.

During his papacy, he visited 129 countries, wrote 14 encyclicals, and made numerous trips to his homeland of Poland. He also developed strong relationships with leaders of other faiths, including the Jewish, Muslim, and Orthodox Christian faiths.

John Paul II was known for his strong commitment to social justice, peace, and human rights. He helped bring an end to Communist rule in his native Poland, and he also spoke out against poverty, war, and the death penalty. He also advocated for the rights of women, children, and the disabled.

Pope John Paul II was canonized as a saint in 2014 by his successor, Pope Francis. He is remembered for his compassion, humility, and dedication to the Catholic Church and its teachings.

Today, the Catholic Church and its followers around the world remember Pope John Paul II and his legacy of love and service.