She was Monika Wajman from Kórnik, western Poland, who came to the museum with her husband as part of a sightseeing tour of the country’s southern region.
She was given the red carpet treatment by the museum management, with a special certificate, a set of books and a bag of souvenirs from the museum and the local authorities.
The John Paul II Museum is housed in the building where the Polish Pope, then Karol Wojtyła, was born on May 18, 1920 and where he lived until he moved to Kraków at the age of 18, to study at the Jagiellonian University there.
Set up in 1984 as a modest collection of papal memorabilia, the museum underwent a thorough refurbishment and expansion in recent years. The museum re-opened in April 2014 and it is then that a visitor counting system was installed.
The museum has attracted tourists from more than 100 countries, including far-away places such as New Zealand, Cuba, South Africa, China and Saudi Arabia.
Poles account for 80 percent of the total number of visitors, and Italians account for five percent.
The exhibits include some of the original furnishings from the Wojtyła family home, photographs, school and university diplomas, documents from John Paul’s pastoral work in Poland and the Vatican, four of his cassocks, manuscripts of some of his literary works as well as a rucksack and a pair of skis. (mk)