Pope John Paul's 1979 Visit to Living History Farms

John Paul’s historic visit to the US started Monday October 1st, 1979 when he landed at Logan Airport in Boston aboard an Aer Lingus 747. It was only the second time a pope had visited the US. The first time was in 1965 when Pope Paul VI addressed the UN. Pope John Paul II visited 6 Major Cities during his visit: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago and Des Moines.

This web site is dedicated to his memorable visit to Des Moines, Iowa where I experienced his appearance at Living History Farms. His visits brought people by the hundreds of thousands. John Paul seldom used the weight of his authority, but rather brought his message by his own example of how he lived his faith and his concern for common humanity. His visit to America was truly a historic event, and one which should be remembered and passed onto the next generation.

During his visit to America he addressed the UN, encouraging all there to seek world peace and respect the dignity of all human beings throughout the world. He quoted Pope Paul VI’s plea from 1965, “No more war. War never again. Never one against the other, or even one above the other, but always in every occasion, with each other.” Pope John Paul’s message was as simple as Christ’s message: We are to love one another and to love the Lord our God. As Christ said, “What ever you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me.” During his visit to Living History Farms, his message to America was; “God has given you an abundance of farmland and the technology to raise more food than any other country on earth, this must be shared with the rest of the world.”


John Paul II was the 264th Pope. He was the first non-Italian in 455 years. He spoke 12 different languages and used 9 different languages in is papacy. One of his important roles during his papacy was the role of teaching Christianity, in which he wrote 14 papal encyclicals during his tenure. He was known as “The Pope for Youth.”

He visited 129 countries. He reigned from October 16, 1978 to April 2, 2005. On May 13, 1981, an assassination attempt was made and he was shot. He kept his brown scapular on during the surgery to save his life. There was one other attempt to assassinate him by stabbing, which failed, in Fatima, Portugal on May 12, 1982. On December 19, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI declared John Paul Venerable and declared him Beatified May 1, 2011. Today his body has been moved from beneath St. Peter’s Basilica to the alter in Pier Paolo Cristofari’s Chapel of St. Sebastian’s near the body of Blessed Pope Innocent VI.

***PJ visited Living HX Farms near Urbandale, IA, on Thursday, October 4, 1979 ***

***Nearly 300,000 thousand people came to see John Paul II***




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