Before bishop Wojtyla became John Paul II he mainly spent his time in Cracow, though he often gladly visited Greater Poland and Poznan. It was not only because of his close relationship with Antoni Baraniak, Archbishop of Poznan, who Wojtyla valued, respected and who invited him to come to attend numerous church ceremonies, but also to relax and canoe on the rivers and lakes of Notecka Forest. During his pontificate he visited Greater Poland several times: he was twice in Poznan and Gniezno, once in Kalisz and Gorzow Wielkopolski, and during his last visit in 1999 also in Lichen. He passed away in 2005. The mourning in Poznan lasted many days after his death, some called it the 3rd – and the longest – pilgrimage to the “City of Przemysł”.

This text extract comes from the first of eight two-sided boards dedicated to the visits of John Paul II in Poznan and Greater Poland, which appeared in Adam Mickiewicz Square to commemorate this unusual figure. The exhibition accompanies “A Witness to God” concert (7th of March, 6 pm in AMU Concert Hall) prepared by Feel Harmony Foundation and Poznan Philharmonic. The special concert is held in the Year of Saint John Paul II, established in the 100. birthday anniversary of Karol Wojtyła.

Photo exhibition comprises of photo archives of Poznan photojournalists (Andrzej Szozda, Władysław Ruta, Tomasz Kamiński, Karolina Sikorska, Jan Boczko), but also pictures coming from the registry of the Franciscan monastery in Poznan, the Archdiocese Archive from Poznan, archives of “Przewodnik Katolicki” magazine and Gazeta newspaper agency, portrays the bishop visits of Karol Wojtyła in Poznan and Gniezno (since 1968) and papal visits of John Paul II in Poznan, Gniezno, Kalisz and Lichen. The last three boards commemorate the figure of John Paul II in Poznan. The photos are accompanied by descriptions and comments.

“John Paul II in Poznan and Greater Poland” exhibition was prepared by Posnania City Publishing House, the curator is Danuta Książkiewicz-Bartkowiak. The project is co-financed by the city of Poznan.