John Paul II: The DVD collection

Pope John Paul II embraces a child at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square in 2000. (CNS photo from Reuters)

Pope John Paul II embraces a child at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square in 2000. (CNS photo from Reuters)

VATICAN CITY — It was 30 years ago that the College of Cardinals stunned the world by electing a non-Italian, Pope John Paul II. Now, scenes from his 26+ years as supreme pontiff are being offered in a special 30th anniversary DVD collection by the Vatican Television Center.

It’s worth checking out. In collaboration with HDH Communications, the Vatican is offering a 5-DVD set titled, “John Paul II – The pope who made history” at the discounted price of €41.99 (about $57). The Vatican’s other DVD sets on John Paul II are also being discounted by 30 percent for the next month.

CTV, the Vatican’s television operation, has an immense archive of video, which make these DVDs unique. The sample clip on their Web site, which runs three and a half minutes, includes some of the image highlights of Pope John Paul’s pontificate — focusing on his travels around the world and the human side of the papacy.

The DVD anniversary set shows the pope in prayer, joking with young people, encountering indigenous families, visiting a Syrian mosque, skiing and making a pilgrimage through the Holy Land. Of course, that only skims the surface. The DVDs confirm that, in many ways, his was truly a pontificate made for modern media.

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