George Weigel, New York Times best-selling author of Witness to Hope and the preeminent biographer of John Paul II, presents a spiritual travelogue that further illuminates the life and homeland of one of the most influential Catholic leaders of all time.
Weigel’s latest book, City of Saints: A Pilgrimage to John Paul II’s Kraków (on sale Oct. 27), takes readers to Kraków, the site of World Youth Day 2016, to learn the dramatic story of how a city and a man interacted in ways that changed the course of contemporary history.
In City of Saints, “the story of Karol Wojtyła, St. John Paul II, and the story of Kraków are interwoven in a chronological pilgrimage through the life of a saint that reveals, at the same time, the richly textured life of a city where a boy grew into a man, priest, a bishop—and an apostle to the world,” writes Weigel.
Part travel guide, part history book, and part biography of St. John Paul II, City of Saints is the perfect resource for those wishing to learn more about John Paul II, the city that shaped him, and their impact on the history of our times.
“To follow Karol Wojtyła through Kraków is to follow an itinerary of sanctity while learning the story of a city,” writes Weigel.
With over 100 stunning photographs by Stephen Weigel and historical notes on the city’s principal sites by Carrie Gress, City of Saintsoffers an in-depth look at a man and a city that made an indelible impression on the life and thought of the Catholic Church and the 21st century world. Additionally, it is a must-have guide for pilgrims traveling to Kraków for World Youth Day 2016.
World Youth Day was founded in 1985 by Pope John Paul II as a worldwide encounter with the Pope for young people that draws millions of participants from around the world. The 2016 World Youth Day is especially significant because it will take place in Kraków, the longtime home of its founder.
As Weigel notes, “In 2016, World Youth Day will come to the city where, in a sense, this remarkable innovation in the rhythm of global Catholic life first started – in young Father Karol Wojtyła’s remarkable chaplaincy to university students who became his lifelong friends.”
The Influence of Kraków on the Pontificate of JPII
Many distinctive characteristics of the pontificate of John Paul II had their origins in his years as archbishop of Kraków. Following are a few key examples:
- John Paul II’s magnetism for the young was presaged in the remarkable group of lay friends that first formed around the newly ordained Father Karol Wojtyła when they were university students.
- His pastoral pilgrimages as pope were foreshadowed in the lengthy parish visitations he made as archbishop of Kraków.
- His groundbreaking teaching on human sexuality, marriage, and the family reflected his work as a bishop in Kraków, during which he had founded an institute for marriage and the family as a key component of the archdiocese’s ministry—the first institution of its kind in Poland.
- His steady efforts to provide an authoritative interpretation of the Second Vatican Council in his papal encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, and apostolic letters was a natural outgrowth of the work he had done to implement the Council in Kraków, in a process that was arguably the most comprehensive of any diocese’s in the world.
- His remarkable command of the world stage was possible because of his experience as a public figure in Kraków.
GEORGE WEIGEL, Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a Catholic theologian and one of America’s foremost commentators on issues of religion and public life. Senior Vatican Analyst for NBC News, Weigel is the author of twenty-one books, including the New York Times best-seller Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.
To request a review copy or to schedule an interview with George Weigel, please contact Katie Moore, publicist, email@example.com, 719-268-1936.