John Paul the Great

Not sure this is the right forum or not, but…

Ever since the death of Blessed Pope John Paul II in 2005, I have occasionally heard him referred to as “John Paul the Great.”

Is “John Paul the Great” an “official” designation from the Vatican or just a clever moniker the media or someone else came up with?

Not only do people occasionally say it out loud or on the news but a lot of new high schools and universities that are named after him include “the great”. This is not an official designation but only something that people came up with. Only 3 other popes have been designated “the great”. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and I believe multiple cardinals and Vatican officials have called him “the great”. However it is not an official designation but only something that catches on.

“The Great” is not an official designation but is something that basically happens by popular acclaim. The only other popes that are commonly referred to in this way are Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, and Nicholas the Great. And none of them are declared so through any sort of official papal pronouncement.

Some people are trying to get the ball rolling with Blessed John Paul II (the Great). History will show whether or not they are successful. :slight_smile:

I do call him that occasionally, and I’d love to have Pope Francis to have him called Papa Ioannes Paulus Magnus, but since Popes aren’t called “the Great” by papal announcement but by popular acclaim (I believe that the instant acclaim for sainthood on his funeral began JP’s canonization process sooner than properly allowed by protocol as well). I have no doubt that if we keep a healthy public veneration of him as “the Great”, he’ll soon have that title permanently sticked. Besides, he did stand out from most of the Popes that the people of his lifetime had known, he deserves it. :wink:

Pope Benedict at his first appearance after being elected as the the new Pope called JPII as the Great:One of his very first words were "After the Great JPII …:"video available in youtube

It is simply a title that devotees of Pope John Paul II ascribe to him out of piety.

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