A coin with the image of His Holiness Pope John Paul II or Ioannes Paulus II Pontifex Maximus in Latin. Born Karol Józef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920, Pope John Paul II reigned for almost 27 years. He was the first non-Italian elected Pope since 1523 and his papacy was the third longest in history. He was among the most beloved Popes in recent history and was the most traveled. His legacy will be felt for decades to come.