When Pope John Paul II visited Baltimore in 1995, he carried a message of hope and understanding, concern for the poor and respect for religious freedom. The new Pope John Paul II memorial prayer garden embodies these same ideals, inviting people to contemplate the themes of the late pontiff in a setting archdiocesan leaders described as a “bold” spiritual oasis. Working closely with the Archdiocese, Mahan Rykiel designed an 8,000 square foot garden with a circular form which is embracing and inclusive central themes to the Pope’s legacy. A larger than life statue of Pope John Paul II is the focal point of the garden on a marble pedestal.
Pathways guide visitors through the garden, along a high wall which bears inscriptions of quotes from Pope John Paul II and some of his prayers. Other elements include markers highlighting both religious freedom and the history of the Catholic Church in the United States.