St John Paul II: 10 inspirational quotes

St John Paul II greets Poles at the monastery of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa during his 1979 trip (CNS photo/Chris Niedenthal)

Quotes to move and inspire taken from the addresses, homilies and audience talks delivered by St John Paul II during his 27-year pontificate.

1. ‘Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ.’
Homily following John Paul II’s election as Pope, October 22, 1978

2. ‘Overcoming evil with weapons of love becomes the way in which each person can contribute to the peace of all. Christians and believers of different religions are called to walk this path, together with those who accept the universal moral law. Dear brothers and sisters, promoting peace in the world is our common mission!’
Homily on 38th World Day of Peace, January 1, 2005

3. ‘I hope that all believers, together with the Virgin, may start out with determination on the path of holiness, keeping their gaze fixed on Jesus and meditating, with the Rosary, on the mysteries of salvation.’
General audience, October 29, 2003

Pope John Paul II gesturing his farewell as he leaves Liverpool’s Speke Airport in 1982 (Photo: PA)


4. ‘Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.’
Homily at Camden Yards, Baltimore, October 8, 1995

5. ‘The future is in your hearts and in your hands. God is entrusting to you the task, at once difficult and uplifting, of working with Him in the building of the civilisation of love.’
Address to young people at Downsview Park, Toronto, July 27, 2002

St John Paul on the balcony at St Peter’s Square shortly after being being elected Pope on October 22, 1978

6. ‘Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.’
Angleus in Adelaide, November 30, 1986

7. ‘I am with you all days! Jesus says, I am with you, pilgrim Church in the world. I am with you, young ecclesial communities in missionary lands. Do not be afraid to enter into dialogue with everyone. Take the message of salvation to everyone. Take courage.’
Homily on World Mission Sunday, October 20, 2002

8. ‘To believe in Jesus is to accept what he says, even when it runs contrary to what others are saying.’
Address to young people at Downshill Park, Toronto, July 27, 2002

When John Paul II visited his homeland in 1979, Poles cried out: ‘We want God’ (Getty)

9. ‘You must transmit your joy in being adopted sons and daughters of God through the creative power of the Holy Spirit. Do this with the help of Mary, Mother of Jesus. Cling to her Rosary, and you will never wander far from her side.’
Homily for the Eucharistic Celebration for the Young People, Central Park, New York, October 7, 1995

10. ‘Jesus is born for a humanity searching for freedom and peace; he is born for everyone burdened by sin, in need of salvation, and yearning for hope.’
Christmas homily, December 24, 2002