We remember that John Paul II died on this day in 2005.
I do not remember much about John 23 or Paul 6, the other two Popes that I recall growing up. I am not suggesting that they were insignificant figures. I'm sure that Catholic historians will cite their accomplishments.
Yet, I don't remember much about them! There was a distance between these men and the millions who go to church every Sunday.
However, John Paul II was unique and was a soldier in the forefront of the three great evils of the last 100 years.
First, he fought Hitler's Germany. He saw some of his Jewish friends captured and subsequently tortured by the Naxis. He understood the unique suffering of Jews in WW2.
Second, he fought communism. Often, he challenged the Polish communists and put his life in danger. He understood that communism was a secular philosophy that violated human dignity.
As a Pope, he fought against the culture of death. He was a strong critic of abortion and moral relativism. He did not care about public opinion polls or moral fads.
John Paul II was one of the great men of the last years. This is why we still remember him many years after his death in 2005.
This is a great biography: