Tuesday, October 22, 2013

5 Photos that Prove JPII was the World's Biggest Hipster

Here at In the Beginning Ministries, we're big fans of Pope John Paul II. An incredibly holy man, he played many roles: brilliant theologian; consummate philosopher; attentive and caring spiritual father; EPIC pope. Soon, he will be officially named as a saint.

But as if all of that wasn't enough, he was also the freaking KING of hipster-dom. Don’t believe me? Check out these 5 photos and quotes that PROVE that Pope John Paul II was the world’s greatest hipster.

1) Pope John Paul II Rockin' a Hipster Beanie, Reading Books, and Chilling with a Big Ol' Fish.

"No, I actually didn't catch this fish. It just offered itself up to me out of respect for my awesome."
Pope John Paul II was a great lover of the outdoors. His love of nature and his belief that one could find in creation a reflection of the Creator were attributes that continued to show themselves throughout his papacy. In his general audience of January 26, 2000 he said, "Nature therefore becomes a Gospel that speaks to us of God: 'For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator'".

2) Pope John Paul II Wearing Hipster Glasses

Watch out Flynn Rider. JPII pretty much invented the smolder.
If the above photo looks to you like that of an angsty indie rocker, it should. Pope John Paul II was all about the longings, yearnings, and angsts of youth, or - more specifically - that they were calls from God. At World Youth Day 2000, he said, "It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.”

3) Pope John Paul II Backpacking Through the Mountains

The nonchalantly unbutton shirt is the international symbol for "cool".
Pope John Paul II's love of nature was perhaps most realized in his fondness for mountain climbing. Never one to miss an opportunity to evangelize, however, the late pontiff often drew spiritual lessons from his favorite activity. In his 1986 address to the delegates of the Alpine Club, he said, "[Mountain climbing] requires rigorous virtues in those who practice it: strict discipline and self-control, prudence, a spirit of sacrifice and dedication, care and solidarity for others.Thus we can say that mountain-climbing develops character. In fact, it would not be possible to face disinterestedly the difficulties of life on the mountains if the physical and muscular strength, which is very necessary, were not sustained by a strong will and an intelligent passion for beauty." 

4) Pope John Paul II Fighting the Power (with a Textbook-Hipster Camping Trip)

They would've driven to their camping site in an energy-efficient hybrid,
but those hadn't been invented yet.
In 1949, the Communists were making it massively difficult to be a Polish Catholic (and that's putting it lightly). Police intimidation created a generally anti-religious atmosphere that forced any ministry to be done in secret. So, in his classic style, JPII (at that point he was still Karol Vojtyla) led secret ministry camping trips for couples and young people. In a 1997 letter to his friends in Krakow, JPII writes, "…catechesis led the way for the creation of such groups, like ours… We tried to find ways to meet and create communities. They were informal, but they were real.”

5) Pope John Paul II Wearing Converse

A love of converse was one of many similarities between JPII and the Doctor
Yeah, JPII wore beanies, fedoras, and converse, but that's not all. The Daily Beast writes, "Pope John Paul II had some fairly indie wardrobe inclinations. In 1999 he met with Bono of the band U2, who gifted the pontiff his signature blue-tinted sunglasses in exchange for a rosary. John Paul II was known to favor Polish-made loafers – a divergence from the traditional Italian-made red kicks. He sprung for specialty outwear in the wintertime too, wearing a ‘crimson wool cloak trimmed in old braid, at times allowing children to play hide and seek in its deep folds,’ the Washington Post reported in 2005."


  1. This is my favorite post ever. I mean ever. I have never seen the converse photo, but I LOVE IT! I now will be wearing my own converse on his canonization with pride:)
    God bless!

  2. I love this! Pope John Paul II, perfect in every hipster way.

  3. Converse! JPII was the Doctor! I knew it!

  4. Thanks for this post guys!
    Keep up the good work! :)

  5. In Poland in times of communism weren`t foreign corporation`s products, but most of sport shoes were looking like converse