|Face Value:||2 zlote|
|Mint:||Mint of Poland|
Pope John Paul II was perhaps the most beloved Pope of the 20th century. His Papacy began on October 16, 1978, and lasted 27 years, until his death in 2005. This made him the longest-serving Pope since Pius IX in the mid-1800s.
In 2003, his native Poland celebrated the 25th anniversary of his Papacy with a commemorative 2 zlote coin. Made from "Nordic gold" cupro-aluminum alloy, this legal tender coin has no actual precious metal content.
Born Karol Jozef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920, he lived through the Nazi occupation of Poland. In 1941, after the last member of his family died, he began secretly studying for the priesthood. During the war, he saved various Polish Jews, and refused to forcibly baptize young Jewish children living with Christian foster parents. For these actions, he was declared "Righteous Among the Nations" by the Israeli government after his death.
John Paul II was first non-Italian Pope since Adrian VI, who was born Dutch and was Pope for less than two years (1522 - 1523). A patriotic Pole, he used his Papal visits to his homeland to push for the collapse of the Soviet- dominated Communist government. The "liberation" of Poland from Communism led to a domino effect that show the collapse of the Iron Curtain, and eventually the destruction of the Berlin Wall.
John Paul II made rapprochement with the Orthodox Church, Judaism, and Islam on the part of the Catholic Church one of his main goals, with the aim that the world's religions would work together to end war and poverty.
John Paul II was canonized by Pope Francis on April 27, 2014. He has been referred to as "Pope John Paul II the Great" by many people, including the man who succeeded him as Pope, Benedict XVI. John Paul II is the first Pope to be referred to as "the Great" since Pope Nicholas I in the year 867. He is still revered by millions of people today.
This coin from the Mint of Poland celebrating John Paul II's 25th year as Pope would be an ideal and thoughtful gift to a devout friend or relative.