An exceptional event in the history of Poland occurred in October 1978 - Cardinal Karol Wojtyła was elected Pope and took the name John Paul II. Afterwards, he frequently visited Poland with Wielkopolska being no exception.
The Pope came to Gniezno on 3 June 1979, shortly after his election as Head of the Holy See. He celebrated mass in pl. Katedralny (Cathedral Sq.) and later took up residence at the Gniezno Archbishop’s Palace. He also met with young people. The Pope came to Gniezno again on 2-4 June 1997 for the millennium of the martyrdom of St. Wojciech. He celebrated mass in the cathedral, and met with European presidents and, in what was already becoming a tradition, young people.
He first came to the Wielkopolska capital as leader of the Roman Catholic Church on 20 June 1983. Pope John Paul II made his second visit to Poznań on 3 June 1997. The pope was driven around the city after the papal helicopter landed at Ławica airport. Our distinguished guest then held a meeting with large numbers of recently arrived youth in Adam Mickiewicz Sq. at 5:00 p.m. This took place near the university from which the Pope holds an honourary doctorate.
Pope John Paul II visited the St. Joseph Sanctuary in Kalisz on 4 June 1997. Two years later, the Pope stayed in Stary Licheń (Konin County) on 6-7 and 7-8 June 1999. While there, he consecrated the Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń, which was then under construction.