Discovering the Human Person
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More About This Title Discovering the Human Person


A longtime friend and student of the late Pope John Paul II, Stanislaw Grygiel in this book reflects on the life and thought of this extraordinary pope, giving new insight into his character and his vision of beauty as the path that leads us to God.

More than simply biographical information about John Paul II -- who was Bishop Karol Wojtyla before he became pope -- or a dry academic analysis of his teaching, Discovering the Human Person derives from Grygiel’s extensive firsthand interaction with Wojtyla. Grygiel reflects on the importance of Christian personalism, or communion, as the ground of John Paul II’s life, particularly in response to the communist environment that surrounded him in Poland. Grygiel also addresses the pope’s call for a new evangelization, his understanding of marriage and family, and the relationship of those to a genuine, healthy understanding of nation and state.


Stanislaw Grygiel is professor emeritus of philosophyand director of the Karol Wojtyla Chair at thePontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage andFamily in Rome.


AWARDS and RECOGNITIONS: Catholic Press Association 2015 Book Award Honorable Mention in Theology

Ralph Martin
— author of Will Many Be Saved?
"This book is written by a man who not only knew John Paul II well and engaged in meaningful conversations with him over decades, but who also has the gift of great insight to understand his mind, heart, and historical significance. Reading this book, I felt drawn into that communion of persons that both John Paul II and Stanisław Grygiel so movingly speak of in these pages. Among the plethora of books about John Paul II, this one stands out for its authenticity, eloquence, clarity of thought — and its ability to evoke the Presence in which we all live and move and have our being."

David L. Schindler
— Catholic University of America
"An utterly fascinating book! Speaking from the unique perspective of their fifty years of friendship, Stanisław Grygiel offers keen insight into the life and work of St. John Paul II as well as the great issues of our time."

Catholic Books
"Grygiel offers a unique insight into the anthropology and personalism of Pope John Paul II especially in light of how the pope lived his philosophy in communion with God and other humans."

Catholic Library World
"Grygiel's essays . . . offer a hermeneutical guide for theological scholarship on the life and Christian humanism of Pope John Paul II. This book is appropriate for theological and seminary libraries."

Mission Today
"In this important book, Stanis?aw Grygiel, student and friend of the saintly John Paul II, gives us some very personal reflections on the life and thought of his teacher. In the process, he gives us fresh insights into the saint's character and his vision of beauty as a pathway to God."