As the leader of the Catholic Church, the oldest continuing institution in the Western world, Pope John Paul II was a giant in every sphere he touched-personal, theological, political, ecumenical. In an age rich with heroes, Pope John Paul II was truly the great man of the past century-a man who personally confronted its tragedies, from Nazism to communism. A paradoxical figure, Pope John Paul II was an intellectual animated by confidence and joy, a poet and playwright, a supporter of freedom who decried its abuse, a tough political gamesman, and a mystic convinced that the bullet that nearly killed him in Rome was directed away from his heart by the hand of the Mother of God.
Here, bestselling author Peggy Noonan brings her sharp observations, acute sensibility, warmth, and wit to the life of the pope and shows the personal effect his journey had upon her and millions of others throughout the world. Written with heart and depth, this book is at once a moving elegy and a brilliant celebration of a man whose life taught us the greatest lesson of all: how to live.