Speaking out for life

Showing the Irish People's support for the pontiff who made the pro-life issue centre-stage

A quarter of a century ago one of the largest public gatherings ever seen in Ireland occurred as the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, visited Knock in Co. Mayo where he was met by a vast, welcoming crowd.

The entire island took notice as this influential and inspiring figure embraced our nation, one hundred years after the apparition at Knock.

Twenty five years later, the Pontiff who was 84 in 2004 and his health had deteriorated quite considerably.

However, despite his physical decline, the Pope's enthusiasm appeared to have escalated as he persisted with zeal on his mission, spreading the gospel of life.

He was invited to come and visit Ireland again. After initial speculation regarding the Holy Father’s visit, the Irish media rushed to claim that the Irish people would show little interest in his return. This was, of course, untrue, but we wanted to show the opposite - that he was most welcome.

We organised a Céad Míle Fáilte, for the Holy Father. We designed and printed the postcard below and our target was to gather as many welcomes as possible prior to his arrival so we can give our Pontiff an appropriate Céad Míle Fáilte. John Paul II was, despite many obstacles, a courageous witness to the people of the world as he defended unborn babies with courage and consistency.

Céad Míle Fáilte's sent

The Céad Míle Fáilte Campaign was been very successful. We managed to collect the required number of cards and sent them to Vatican City in early 2005. To award him with welcoming signatures so high in number would show our Pontiff that he was still very much revered in Ireland.

Photos

PP_JPII_Cert - Sample of the Cards sent to...

Sample of the 100,000 cards sent to Vatican City. There was a signature and address on the back of each card

PP_JPII_CollectingCards - Collecting Cards for John...

A stall in Knock collecting signed cards

PP_JPII_PackingCards - Packing the Cards for sending...

Packing the large volume of cards for posting to Vatican City