Celebrating the Feast of Pope St. John Paul II in the Home, with a Printable

by | Oct 22, 2014 | Liturgical Year, Namedays, October, Printables, Saints | 49 comments

I am on a ridiculous (and completely unintentional) streak of two weeks of almost daily blog posts. We can’t keep this up forever. I’m trying to stop. Really I am. But there’s been all the guest posting and sponsored posting to tell you about. And Frankie was grumpy at the fair and you guys NEEDED to see THAT, right? And people were mad on the internet! Anyway, one more post I agreed to write that is coming almost, but not quite, too late to be of any use.

Ashley asked me to share how we celebrate the Feast of JPII in our home, and we wouldn’t miss it, because our Jack is named John Paul in his honor. And that feast day is today: October 22nd.

Best JPII meme in town. Credit: Lifeteen

Quick story about that: While I was pregnant (in 2002), Jim pointed out that the Pope was ailing and perhaps he would die before the baby was born, and we could name the baby after him. And I said I was pretty sure that people don’t have to be dead to have babies named after them. It turns out I was right. So we named the baby John Paul. But we call him Jack.

Anyhoo, it is Jack’s name day. Normally he’d get to pick anything he likes for dinner. But I bought kielbasa at the store because it was on sale AND because it was Polish. So I pretty much told him that he could pick anything he wanted for dinner as long as it was kielbasa and sauerkraut. He countered with kielbasa + potatoes + brownies and he didn’t have to eat the sauerkraut. Deal.

recipe at Taste of Home

I plan to poke some gummy worms into the brownies after they cool down, for the “fisher of men, also of fish” thing.

credit: Mama Gone Green

In her question to me, Ashely had the best idea yet for how to celebrate a great outdoorsman like Pope John Paul II: Take a hike. I think ours will just have to be a nature walk around the suburbs. But we will definitely be walking today!

I will never, ever get tired of looking at JPII in the out of doors.

If we tire of walking, we are fortunate enough to have the awesome Ignatius Press movie: Pope John Paul II
on DVD. But in case YOU don’t, it’s available live streaming from the Ignatius website!

It stars Jon Voight as the elder, and Cary Elwes as the younger Karol Wojtyla. (By the way, please tell me you’ve read this: The Dread Pirate and the Pope. It just makes me so happy.)

And we own these two great books, also by Ignatius Press.

Check out the full review at CatholicMom.com
Micaela also reviews the books at California to Korea.

And, today only, the JPII coloring pages at Holy Heroes are on sale for $1.99.

For some more ideas, including Pope Cake (!) see Bonnie’s post at A Knotted Life: Celebrate St. John Paul the Great’s Feast Day.

Or Gina’s post at Someday (Hopefully) They’ll Be Saints: It’s Gonna Be A Party! St. Pope John Paul II Feast Day.

Reader Christina asked me to make this great JPII quote printable. And, how could I say no?

So here it is: Pope St. John Paul II quote on red . . .

 And: Pope St. John Paul II quote on white . . .

Click on the title to download the image from google drive, or just click on the image to enlarge it, and right click to save it to your computer. You may download the image for free for your own personal use. If you’d like to sell it, please contact me. Thanks. To request a custom printable, visit my Etsy shop here.

If you do nothing else for Pope St. John Paul II today, watch this video. You’ll be glad you did. I can say with great certainty that this is the best ever use of auto tuning. It’s going to be on repeat around here all day.
p.s. Upcoming on the blog . . . This year’s twofer Halloween / All Saints costumes should be coming up on Friday, Frankie’s Little Monster 3rd Birthday party will be this weekend in real life and Monday or Tuesday in blogworld, and Operation Inspired Capsule Wardrobe happened on Tuesday and was a big success. It’s going to take me some time to document it all, but it’s coming!

p.p.s. In honor of JPII, I’m going to give away one last bag of goodies from the #whereislulu trip to Spain and France, including a rosary, medals, and a bottle of Lourdes water. Just let me know in the comments how you plan to remember Pope St. John Paul II today. (Watching the YouTube video and having dessert TOTALLY counts.) Winner will be announced on Friday.


  1. Ali

    I love the printable! (& the Fisher of Men meme!)
    We'll be honoring JPII by spending time outside – Gardening for me and playing for the kids.
    I also am starting Jason Evert's new book, Saint John Paul The Great.
    …and if I can get my act together, we'll have stuffed cabbage rolls for dinner.
    (also I am staying up 4 hours past my bedtime to ring in his first feast day, but if I'm being honest that was because I got sucked into a blog, and not really a commemorative gesture.)

    • Ali

      PS – LOVE the interview with Carey Elwes!

  2. Isabelle Lubbock

    LOVED the video! It made me all teary-eyed and happy. Now to find some Polish dessert to bake. Emergency JPII celebration FTW!

  3. Erica Saint

    As long as it doesn't rain, we are going on a nature walk at a local park, and we will watch the YouTube video. I am going to make Polish Halushki (pork chops, cabbage, egg noodles, butter – yum), and an apple cake for dessert.
    I love the printable. Thanks!

  4. Sarah

    We have a special devotion to JPII as he is affectionately referred to around here. Our recent move to Florida can be attributed to him, and our amazing new pastor was Confirmed by him. I too will make Polish sausage, and that printable will happily find a place on our home prayer altar! A hike in the state park in his honor sounds great for hubby and "the bigs" during "the littles" nap! Thank you Kendra!

  5. Amelia Bentrup

    I don't have any kids named after John Paul II, but we used to have a cockatiel named after him (totally not joking). so I guess we should celebrate. We'll have fish (actually my kids will think that is a penance) and dessert (not a penance).

  6. Anne Y

    I plan to spend time watching YouTube videos of World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. That was the first and only time I got to see JPII. Maybe I'll also get in touch with my own Polish heritage and bake some babka!

  7. Sarah

    We will be letting our John Paul choose our outdoor activity and have hot dogs and brats (his request) for dinner.

  8. Anonymous

    Loved the video! JPII was always my favorite pope (although Francis isn't far behind). I'll be taking a long walk in his honor today.

  9. Celia

    I love that meme! I think we'll have some kind of Polish food (probably sausage, potatoes, and sauekraut also in all honesty), and maybe a dessert. Definitely walking today, too. Besides, it's gorgeous here right now on the central coast!

  10. Kristin

    To honor St. John Paul II today we're attending Mass, spending time outside (probably at the park) and definitely have brownies for dessert tonight. I don't have kielbasa, but I think we'll do sausage/potatoes/sauerkraut tonight, too. Thank you so much for the beautiful printable!

  11. Hope

    Thank you for the printable! (I have some of your others hanging in my loft–love them. I should send you a pic). And thank you for the ideas for celebrating today. I only have one book on JPII but I do have some keilbasa in the fridge, lol! 🙂 Happy Feast Day!

  12. Rebecca

    We named our now-6 month old after JPII – with his canonization just weeks after our son's birth, it was a no brainer, plus we just love him! We're having donuts because they're our favourite and reading our John Paul II book. If my kids amazingly go to sleep well tonight, maybe I'll even pull out the movie – possibly my favourite movie ever!. And, of course, I just watched the Dynamite video – again – too.

  13. Brenda

    Illness abounds in our house today, including myself, and my husband is out of town. Our celebrating will be naps and prayers.

  14. Brenda

    Does anyone else think that St. John Paul II looks like Robin Williams as "Popeye" in that fishermen meme?

  15. Being Refined

    In honor of JPII Feast day I watched the video above – it was great! I will also print and frame the printable for our house. Since I am recovering from surgery… more festive activities will have to wait, though we can ice cream later on in his honor.

    I'm praying we will some day have a son to name him after St. John Paul II. I also would want to call him Jack (in honor of my grandfather).

  16. Anonymous

    Here in Pittsburgh we love our kielbasa and sauerkraut! My kids will gobble it up when I cook it in the crockpot and add 2 tbsp of brown sugar. It takes the bitter flavor out. Hubby doesn't say no if I add beer to the crockpot instead of just water, either. 😉

  17. Elizabeth@SuperSwellTimes

    We're celebrating JPII by heading to his hometown in 2 weeks. I figure we'll celebrate tonight by planning that portion of the trip and eating Polish food. (Because — you know — Polish husband and all.)

  18. Sheril Burdine

    I am so excited to find out today is the Feast of JPII because it is also my son's 3rd birthday. We will difinitely be celebrating today with cake. Thanks for the printable.

  19. Tracy Bua Smith

    We love this You Tube video and my kids enjoyed watching it today and awhile ago when I posted it on my blog 🙂 To celebrate this special day, we will watch the video and my daughter will be making dessert for all to enjoy! 🙂

  20. Molly Walter

    I've been sharing quotes and printables with my mothers group and on FB! I'll have to watch a little auto-tunned Pope as well.

  21. Lizzie

    We will spend the afternoon outside in the chilly autumn sun, and we will eat a Polish dinner. I hope we can stream the video too, thanks for the reccomendation!

  22. Minny Mama

    We went to Mass this morning and will have kielbasa, pierogis, and homemade sauerkraut for dinner. We'll also read "The Boy Who Became Pope." So good! Our son's name is after Karol Jozef (his name is Jozef), so we celebrate him too. Blessings!

  23. Jill VT

    I am going to make my kids watch some JP II videos…and we will have kielbasa too! I have always loved that Dynamite video!!!

  24. Cristina Freyre

    Reading "Lolek: the Boy Who Became JPII" and attempting pierogis. Might make it a multi-day celebration to include the video biography and Pope Cakes!

  25. Ashley Sue

    We read some pictures books and will probably watch a DVD about him. I was making dessert with the kids but after some toddler put their hands into their poop pants and then the batter, we decided poop cake was not the proper way to celebrate a Saint. I know I am a total meanie head.

  26. me

    We took a "hike" (a walk really, but pushing a double stroller should count extra, right?) . It's my husband's birthday, so we had a special dessert planned – European Almond Torte (not Polish but exotic for us!) .
    I remember when Pope St John Paul was elected – the excitement of the white smoke, the shock of a non-Italian pope, and the coming to know his strength and vigor. I miss him still!

  27. Melissa

    Posting again b/c I don't know if my comment went through….

    We celebrated with ice cream and a walk to Mass tonight. We had also planned to grill and hang out outside all night, but I didn't take into account the rain in the forecast and the fact that it is fall (no longer summer, when the days are long), so that didn't exactly go according to plan. 🙂

  28. mdibattista

    Thank you for sharing this 🙂 We celebrated Giovanna's name day for the first time. She was so excited! We had sausage, rice, potatoes, stuffed artichokes, tomatoes, and brownies with worms- inspired by Kendra. We had an image of St. John Paul II at the dinner table and said a special blessing. I also shared how/why Giovanna was named for him. Thanks again! (not sure if it posted the first time, so hopefully this went thru)

  29. Katrina

    I meant to have the kiddos listen to his glory story, but we didn't get around to it. We did go for a walk and bike ride and I watched the video. Hopefully next year we will be more on the ball.

  30. Heather

    We watch the video at dinner tonight. It's one of our favorites!

  31. Erica

    Thanks for the printables! You're basically decorating my new house :). We had several sporadic dance parties to the JPII video today. Then, I planned a polish dinner but then wound up with fish sticks…. fisher of men? Nailed it. Would love love love a bag o' fun from your travels.

  32. Rosa Patterson

    Went to the JPII cultural center in dc today and attended mass there plus saw the exhibit on his life… And saw relics of his blood. It was craze amaze.

  33. Elizabeth

    I acted (in a play) today. I hope that counts. I love love love JPII and the Princess Bride story makes me ridiculously happy. 🙂

  34. Joanna Glabinski

    What a great day! Having kielbasa, kapusta and some dessert ( these cream puffs that jpII loved). Keeping his memory alive with singing his favorite song "Barka"!

  35. Elise

    We celebrated with Polish sausages, pierogies & Pope cake! Hope you had a blessed feast day! Loved seeing your nature walk pictures on instagram. 🙂

  36. Delia

    Hi Kendra! We also have a John Paul. He is 6 months old and was baptized on Saint John Paul's canonization day back in April. He celebrated his first feast day by refusing to nap (not very saintly behavior!). He also watched the rest of us eat chocolate cupcakes that we made in his honor. We sang him "Happy feast day to you!" (sung to the tune of "Happy birthday"). His older sisters colored pictures of Saint John Paul, and we read a story of his life by St. Joseph Picture Books. JP2 we love you!

  37. Gina Fensterer

    Thanks for sharing my post, Kendra! The quote you shared is awesome. I hadn't read that one before.

  38. funwith4

    The video, a walk, some food, some family, start a novena to Pope Saint John Paul II, and I think mommy needs to go find some chains for their medals.

  39. Lydia Borja

    This is a great post! We've had JPII's Dynamite on all morning – my kids can't get enough! Also, I drank my coffee out of my Polish pottery mug and we'll be using our Polish pottery for dinner, which will include celebratory cake. 🙂 Oh and we have JPII coloring pages and books to read! It's going to be a great day!

  40. Inia

    I know how I wish I could celebrate this day. May 1st 2011 living in rural Ohio I was up in the night watching the beatification mass (and trying to spot my friends that hitch-hiked prom Poland to Rome for this occasion). I was also asked to sing a song in the church in Polish (I've picked very old Polish song about Mary, the Mother of God and the Queen of Poland) and give a presentation about the Pope during the parish event "Dinner with our Papa". I did the quiz about JPII with prizes (Polish traditional candy – "Krówki"/Eng. "Cows"). I was so surprised that people were giving me gifts, as it would be my Name Day. It's good to be the only Polish person in the parish 🙂 Especially in such a wonderful parish (St. Mary's in Wooster OH). Now, in North Carolina I started celebrating the Papal Day on October 16th, since it is the official Polish holiday established by the Polish Parliament as a tribute to Pope John Paul II. I brought pope's favorite cake – kremówki papieskie to our Young Adults meeting. Of course I did not use the store bought puff pastry. I've made it the Polish way – from scratch 🙂

    • Inia

      Oh, I need to find this quiz. It was pretty hilarious. It included questions like: how many languages did JP2 speak (fluently)?. What was his middle name? What's his name "Karol" in English?

  41. Inia

    Oh, and for everyone – I really recommend the movie "Karol, the man who bacame a pope" –it's available on youtube and it's the best movie about the pope EVER.
    Also check out my favorite Pope meme
    And please do judge the Polish kiełbasa based on the thing you buy in the grocery store with the "POLISH KIELBASA" label. It does NOT taste like real kiełbasa. It is just shaped like one. I'm sure that JP2 would agree with me. The label should say: "KIELBASA SHAPED AMERICAN PROCESSED MEAT". But I'm not sure if the word meat is not exaggeration in this case….

  42. Julie Kaczorowski

    We have placed a lovely pencil sketch of St. Pope JP II on our dining room table and will be reading the story about him from the Vision book series.

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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