The Polish Pontiff called the Catechism a gift from the Heavenly Father, and he said that with it, God offers the faithful the chance of knowing better Christ’s love:
A cause for profound joy for the universal Church is this gift which the heavenly Father gives to His children today, offering them with this text the possibility of knowing better, in the light of His Spirit, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love (cf. Eph 3:19).
The Catechism arose from the request of the Synod Fathers who had been convoked in 1985 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council.
The process of crafting it was led by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI).
It was officially promulgated by John Paul II on October 11, 1992, the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, but in December of that year, the Pope presented it to the faithful. It was released first in French. The official Latin edition wasn’t promulgated until 1997.
John Paul II considered that “the publication of the text must certainly be counted among the major events of the Church’s recent history.”
“It is not easy to see what developments this catechism will bring about,” he said with anticipation.
But most of all, John Paul II saw it as a gift to the Church, to the faithful, to all people — referring to it as a gift 22 times in his address.
May the Blessed Virgin, whose Immaculate Conception we celebrate tomorrow, help us to accept and appreciate this precious gift and be a model and support for us in giving others the divine Word which the Catechism of the Catholic Church presents to the faithful and to the whole world.