The John Paul II Foundation was established by Papal Decree on October 16, 1981, as a religious, educational, charitable and non-profit organization in response to the historic election of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to head the See of Peter. Its purpose is to support and implement initiatives of a scholarly, cultural, religious and charitable nature associated with the pontificate of John Paul II.
The Foundation is able to realize its goals and purposes thanks to the financial and moral support it receives from Friends around the world. In a private audience with the Holy Father, John Paul II in October 1995 said: “The good work of the Foundation was made possible only through the goodwill of many people who individually and in an organized way through the Friends Chapters of the Foundation in many countries helped this important endeavor. I thank you for what you are doing to help this valuable institution grow and I commend it to your continued generosity.”
- to collect and preserve documents and materials related to Pope John Paul II and to sponsor research on the subject of his pontificate and his teachings;
- to host pilgrims in Rome who are the guests of the Foundation;
- to provide assistance in the formation of religious and lay individuals, especially those coming from Central and Eastern Europe.
The John Paul II Foundation Home in Rome, Italy
- Provides assistance for religious and lay persons by hosting meetings and symposiums, exhibits, cultural and religious gatherings and the Summer University of Polish Culture.
- Exhibit collections of gifts, documents, and memorabilia in the library and museum.
- Preservation and development of Christian heritage and culture.
- Rooming facilities available for Pilgrims on visits to Rome and for individuals attending functions.
While blessing the Home on September 8, 1981, Pope John Paul II expressed it best:
“This Home should be a meeting point of cultures and traditions and history, all within the framework of the great culture, tradition, and history that is Christian; and, therefore, it is the history of the Church and the history of all mankind.”
The Polish Pilgrim Home is located in the southwestern section of Rome about 15 kilometers from the center of the city. The Home provides room and board, as well as information about the Eternal City and its historic sites. The religious atmosphere of the Home helps everyone experience their visit to Rome in a most beneficial way. The Home houses the John Paul II Research and Documentation Center and the executive offices of the Foundation. The Home is host to scholarly meetings, the Summer University of Polish Culture and religious and cultural gatherings. The Home is a place where the individual experiences the religious and cultural dimensions of their visit.
The John Paul II Center for Research and Documentation
The Center collects all documentation related to the person and activities of the Holy Father. It gathers papal documents and books, albums and publications from around the world. Also, the Center collects coins, postage stamps, photographs, videos, CDs, and audiotapes. The museum collections include gifts received by the Pope, especially from Poles, during papal audiences and on papal trips. They promote research on the subject of the teachings of the Holy Father by sponsoring symposiums, exhibits and publishing books. The Center’s library has over 30,000 volumes which are available to scholars researching the teachings of John Paul II.
The John Paul II Foundation Home in Lublin, Poland
- Develops intellectual leaders for Central and Eastern Europe by offering students scholarships and financial assistance to attend the Catholic University of John Paul II in Lublin.
The purpose of the Foundation Home in Lublin is to prepare intellectual leaders for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. It does this through scholarship assistance given to students attending the Catholic University of John Paul II in Lublin. The Foundation covers all the costs of education while in Poland and provides spiritual care so that intellectual progress is paralleled by a growth in faith and a strengthening of their lives as Christians. Approximately 157 students from 10 countries received scholarships each year.