Weird History 24 Awesome Photos Of One Of The Coolest Popes To Ever Live, Pope John Paul II  

Ryleigh Nucilli
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Karol Józef Wojtyła, otherwise known as Pope John Paul II, is the second-longest-serving Pope in the history of the Catholic faith, reigning as Bishop of Rome from 1978-2005. Pictures of John Paul II bear out the general reception of him during his time at the helm of the global Catholic church; he appears smiling and beatific, holding babies, offering mass, and ministering to the sick. However, not all photos of John Paul II are so serious. He can also be seen enjoying a dancing bear and laughing with crowds in some of his more candid moments. 

A look into the life of John Paul II is also a look deep inside the Vatican. It offers a vision of the more formal functions of the Catholic church as well as giving a more casual, insider's view of relaxed and informal snapshots from the life of one of history's most famous and beloved popes.

John Paul II Bemusedly Watches A Dancing Bear In Vatican City, May 10, 1980


John Paul II Bemusedly Watches... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 24 Awesome Photos Of One Of The Coolest Popes To Ever Live, Pope John Paul II
Photo: Vittoriano Rastelli / Getty Images

John Paul II's First Appearance On The Balcony Of St. Peter's Basilica, October 16, 1978


John Paul II's First Appea... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 24 Awesome Photos Of One Of The Coolest Popes To Ever Live, Pope John Paul II
Photo: Vittoriano Rastelli / Getty Images

Meeting With Ronald And Nancy Reagan In Vatican City, 1982


Meeting With Ronald And Nancy ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 24 Awesome Photos Of One Of The Coolest Popes To Ever Live, Pope John Paul II
Photo: CORBIS / Getty Images

Meeting With Queen Elizabeth II And Prince Philip Of Edinburgh In Vatican City, 1980


Meeting With Queen Elizabeth I... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 24 Awesome Photos Of One Of The Coolest Popes To Ever Live, Pope John Paul II
Photo: Vittoriano Rastelli / Getty Images