An intimate, day-by-day portrait of Pope St. John Paul II by his spokesman who spent 22 years at his side. It reveals how the pope viewed all the significant events in the life of the Church and in European and world events of the last two decades of the twentieth century.
Joaquín Navarro-Valls (1936–2017) spent 22 years at the side of Pope John Paul II from 1984 until the pontiff ’s death in 2005. As the first head of the Vatican Press Office and one of the top laymen in the Church, he was chosen by the pope after years as the elected head of the Vatican press corp and following a career change from psychiatry to journalism.
During his time at the Pope’s side, he had regular access to the Pope. He accompanied him not only on his official papal trips all over the world, but also on the pope’s frequent weekend and summer vacations to the Italian mountains. He participated in the preparation work for historic events such as the Vatican’s opening to both the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev, as well as meeting with Fidel Castro to pave the way for the Pope’s visit to Cuba.
Written in the form of a personal diary and published at the author’s request over six years after his death, these pages offer not only a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes work of the Holy See. They also display the Pope’s deep concern for helping to resolve the great problems of modern life.
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