|In response to an invitation from UNESCO, His Holiness Pope John Paul II made an official visit to the Organization’s Headquarters in 1980, during the 109th session of the Executive Board. The Holy Father spoke at a special meeting held in the main conference hall of UNESCO, following addresses by the President of the General Conference, the Chairman of the Executive Board and the Director-General. Born Karol Wojtyla, the Polish ecclesiastic was first ordained to the priesthood in 1946, became Cardinal in 1967 and was elected to the Pontificate in 1978.The medal’s obverse is inscribed with the Pope’s coat of arms. In the background are the symbols of papal authority, the tiara, and the keys of St Peter, one in gold, the other in silver, bound with a cord. The Pontiff’s personal coats of arms represents a cross with the letter M, symbol of the Madonna. On the reverse is the UNESCO logo, with the inscription Visite de Sa Sainteté Le Pape Jean Paul II, Paris, 2 juin 1980 (Visit of His Holiness Pope Jean Paul II, Paris, 2 June 1980).
Available in bronze
Photo © UNESCO/N. Burke