Loading
Revealed – the man behind the official photograph of Blessed Pope John Paul II
By David Kerr
Grzegorz Galazka's photo of John Paul II
Grzegorz Galazka's photo of John Paul II

.- “This is the photo of my life.” The words of photographer Grzegorz Galazka as he gazes onto the giant image of Blessed John Paul II now draped over the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica.

“I don't know how my photo was chosen but as you can see they liked it.”

The image was unveiled to the cheers of over a million pilgrims during Sunday’s beatification ceremony. Galazka had been the official photographer to Pope John Paul on almost all of his travels from 1985 until his death in 2005.

“The photo was taken on a visit to a Roman parish on Feb. 19, 1989, one of the many trips the Pope took to Roman parishes.”

Little could Grzegorz have guessed that this photograph would be one day be adopted as the official image of a potential saint. But when he heard that those behind Pope John Paul’s cause of beatification were looking for a portrait to use in their publications, such as the magazine ‘Totus Tuus,’ he quickly realized that he had just the photo.  

“I proposed it three or four times. As I work with Totus Tuus Magazine, they appreciated my work. In the end, when the moment arrived they chose my photo to be there at the beatification.” 

The photograph depicts an engaging, smiling Blessed John Paul attired in white papal soutane and red cloak. So what was the man in the photograph really like?

“Well, I'm a photographer,” says Grzegorz, “so I saw him closely but always down the lens. I saw him in his happiness and in his concern. I actually got to know the Pope very well through the lens of my camera.”

A native of Poland who now lives and works in Rome, Grzegorz has found the events of the past week very moving.

“I'm very happy. In the beginning, I didn't fully understand the importance of it being chosen. This is the photo of my life. I'm just happy that others can appreciate the Pope through this photo.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: