Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II
Krzysztof Annusewicz, Polish,
1953-2007
Oil on canvas
27 in x 21 1/4 in

This life-like portrait of Pope John Paul II portrays the Holy Father deeply immersed in prayer and thoughtful contemplation. Facing us, his hands are clasped together and brought close to his lips. His brow is furled, perhaps from the burdens he faced as the Vicar of Christ.

Pope John Paul II was born Karol Józef Wojtyła on May 18, 1920 in Poland. During the Nazi occupation of his homeland, he studied for the priesthood in an underground seminary. He was ordained a priest shortly after the war in 1946. In 1958, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Krakow and in 1963 was named Archbishop. He also became a key contributor during the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). On October 16, 1978, he was elected Supreme Pontiff, choosing the name John Paul II in honor of his three immediate predecessors. His pontificate lasted close to 27 years, the second longest in history. He was one of the most influential figures of the 20th century and worked to better relations between Catholics and Jews, Muslims, Orthodox, and other Christians. He worked tirelessly to transform and reposition the Church in the modern world. He was also one of the most traveled leaders in world history, visiting 129 countries.

The cause for his canonization commenced shortly after his April 2, 2005 death. Pope John Paul II was beatified on May 1, 2011 and was canonized, along with Pope John XXIII, on April 27, 2014.

Krzysztof Annusewicz
(Polish, 1953-)

Krzysztof Annusewicz was born in Zamosciu, Poland. He is a portrait artist who specializes in oil painting using traditional old masters techniques. Commissions have taken him all around Europe. His works can also be found in many other countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Many of his subjects have been people of culture, business leaders, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, artists, aristocrats, and educators.