Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005 after being the head of the Roman Catholic Church from October 16, 1978 - a period extending more than 26 years! Karol Józef Wojtyla (his birth name) became a priest in the RC Church on November 1, 1946. On July, 1958, he was appointed to the position of auxiliary bishop of Kraków and thus became the youngest bishop in Poland - at just 38 years of age. Continuing his rise, Pope Paul VI appointed him as the Archbishop of Kraków (Poland) on January 13, 1964. He was promoted to the College of Cardinals by Paul VI on June 16, 1967.
As part of the College, he voted in the conclave that elected John Paul I to the papacy. Unfortunately, John Paul died after being Pope for just 33 days. In the follow-up conclave, Karol was seen as a moderate candidate and a good compromise between the two leading candidates: Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, the Archbishop of Genoa (Conservative) and Cardinal Giovanni Benelli, the Archbishop of Florence (Liberal); neither candidate had been successful in winning election after several rounds of balloting. Karol was later added to the list of candidates and elected Pope on the eighth ballot on October 16, 1978.
He was very active in world affairs, much more so than those who preceded him. He was very vocal with his support of human rights for all, and did not shy away from publicly criticizing oppressive governments.
On September 9, 1984, Pope John Paul II arrived in Canada for a 12-day visit. It was the first time John Paul II had been to Canada, and it was the first-ever visit to the country by a Roman Catholic Pope. He traveled over 15,000 kilometers across the country, making scheduled stops in Quebec City (his landing spot), Trois-Rivičres, Montreal, St. John's, Moncton, Halifax, Toronto, Midland (Ontario), Winnipeg/St. Boniface, Edmonton, Yellowknife, Vancouver and Ottawa/Hull. He was greeted by large crowds wherever he went; it is believed that millions of Canadians attended events to see him during his visit. The visit was certainly a highlight of the year and arguably became the biggest religious event in Canadian history. The Mint struck a series of commemorative medals for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops; there was a medal struck for each of the Pope's visit locations.
Pope John Paul II made two additional trips to Canada, in 1987 and 2002. In September 1987, he visited Fort Simpson in the Northwest Territories (Fort Simpson was on his 1984 itinerary, but had to be cancelled due to severe weather conditions). In July 2002, the Pope helped celebrate World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto; World Youth Day is a Catholic youth festival initiated by John Paul II in 1985 and held every two to three years in a different country. The multi-day event engages young people from around the world.
John Paul II died on April 2, 2005 at the age of 84; he was canonized as Saint John Paul II on April 27, 2014 by Pope Francis.
The 2005 silver $10 coin commemorated the life and accomplishments of Pope John Paul II, along with his strong relationship with Canada. It was struck as a proof on a 0.9999 fine silver planchet with a diameter of 36.07 millimeters (mm) and a weight of 25.175 grams - Canada's standard 36 mm silver planchet of the time.2005 Pope John Paul II Silver $10
The commemorative reverse depicts a front-facing John Paul II with his right hand raised in the midst of providing a blessing while his left hand holds a cross bearing a figure of Jesus. Susan Taylor created the design. The only inscription on the "clean" reverse is "IONANNES PAULUS PP.II" - Latin for "John Paul II." The coin's obverse bears the standard, right-facing portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Susana Blunt along with all of the coin's needed inscriptions.
The R C M did not set a maximum mintage for the coin, choosing instead to produce the coin "to demand." The Mint's 2005 Annual Report
lists 25,821 coins as being sold, but this figure was revised down in the 2006 AR
to 24,716. In either case, fairly robust sales. The issue price for the coin was $49.95 (CAD).
For other of my posts about Canadian Commemorative coins and medals. check out: Read More: Commems Collection