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Liturgical Style: John Paul the Great

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

St. John Paul II who crafted Theology of the Body: Man and Woman He Created Them, had a keen sense

and appreciation of style because he knew the goodness of the whole person. From his theater days

and long treks up snowy mountains to writing poetry and canoeing—the arts and nature affected

what he wore. A well-seasoned fashion designer, Yumi Katsura, told Vogue that “Pope John Paul II

had a distinct personal style and was very much involved in the choosing of his own clothing.” We

have compiled a few photos that are evidence of his personal style.


On his feast day, consider wearing one of his favorite staples and allow yourself to be “captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colors and shapes…Admire the work of your inspiration [for your outfit this day], sense in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things,

has wished in some way to associate you” (St. John Paul II, Letter to Artists).

A Hat Guy

Scroll through images of John Paul the Great and you will notice how often he enjoyed wearing a

beret, flat cap, newsboy hat, or a fedora. Hats are a statement for sure and perfect for the Autumn

air. Try styling a masculine hat with a flowy floral dress to emphasize complementarity as described

in Theology of the Body.


Military

He lived during wartime and this carried over in his garments from khaki and hunter green jackets

often paired with wool scarves or sweaters. Consider wearing a khaki or jean jacket to reflect the

spiritual warfare we are all battling daily and as a reminder to ask for John Paul the Great’s

intercession.


Classic

JPII was a classy man who loved a good black overcoat, collared sweater, and shades of blue (in

honor of Mary, I’m sure). Gold and white are great accents to any of these pieces and reflective of

the vestments that he wore in his papal days.


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