A coloured commemorative coin, struck by The Perth Mint from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality, to celebrate the life of His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
Karol Józef Wojtyła was born in Wadowice, a small city 50km from Cracow, Poland, on 18 May 1920. As a young man, he was studious, athletic and developed a love for acting and the theatre.
Karol was ordained as a priest in 1946 and completed his Doctorate in Theology in Rome in 1948. Returning to Poland, he ministered in Cracow, later becoming Professor of Moral Theology and Social Ethics. He was nominated Archbishop of Cracow by Pope Paul VI, who made him a Cardinal in 1967.
In October 1978 he was elected to the Papacy at the age of 58, the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years. Known as John Paul II, his pontificate was characterised by efforts to build bridges between nations and religions.
He met many of the world’s leading politicians during dozens of official visits and hundreds of audiences. He travelled the world, covering a distance far greater than all other Popes combined, and celebrated Mass with millions of adoring followers in more than 110 countries.
In 1981, the Pope suffered severe gun shot wounds, but recovered full-fitness during two and half months in hospital. His became the third longest pontificate in the history of the Papacy after Pius IX and St Peter.
The reverse of the coin depicts a coloured image of Pope John Paul II infront of St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome.
Issued as legal tender under the authority of the Government of the Cook Islands, the coin depicts Raphael Maklouf’s effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.
No more than 30,000 of these coins will be issued by The Perth Mint.
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