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John Paul II: the man of the 20th Century!
on 25 November 2001
Witness To Hope by George Weigel
This is an incredible book about an incredible man. I cannot pretend to have understood it all! At a time in history when nations around the world are looking for great leaders, men of integrity, there is one, not the leader of a nation but of a church. That man is John Paul II. He must be 'the man of the 20th Century'. There can be very few people, even public ones, whose lives are so well documented. Here is a man of integrity, a man of substance, a man, whose life witnesses to his faith.
First lay aside any prejudice, especially religious, Catholic or otherwise. Many no doubt totally disagree with him and his stance on life and various issues, but surely none can fail to respect him for his wholehearted following where God has led him. The book is, indirectly, a powerful apologetic for Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular. It is a must read for any serious student of church history of the 20thC, and dare I add, any student of history or sociology or politics; any serious theologian; and no doubt many more, including his fans! For this man has definitely made his mark on world history and on the lives of countless individuals of all ages and cultures, across all strata of society.
It is not the easiest book to read! It is a vast subject: a man, a priest, a bishop, the longest serving Pope of the 20th century. Nor is he just a figurehead, as many might initially believe. Here is a man who is a philosopher, a thinker at the deepest levels but also a man of action. To get an idea of the vast statistics of his life, and a brief resume of much of his papacy, it is worth reading the last chapter first.
This book will repay the effort to read, even skim read. For the more serious, it will definitely repay more serious study. Get reading!