by Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II)
Love is "one of the greatest dramas of human existence," writes Pope John Paul II. In this illuminating three-act play--here in the only English translation authorized by the Vatican--he explores relationships between men and women, the joys--and the pain--of love and marriage.
The action unfolds in two settings at once: a street in a small town, outside the local jeweler's shop (people go to buy their wedding rings there), and the mysterious inner landscape of personal hopes and fears, loves and longings. Each act focuses on a different couple: the first happily planning their wedding, the second long-married and unhappy, the third about to marry but full of doubts. Writing with power and understanding about a love that survives the grave, a love that has withered and died, a love budding out of complexes and insecurities, the Pope addresses such fundamental human concerns as: What does it mean to fall in love? When do we know that a love is real--and can it last? If it dies, how do we go on living--and loving again? There are no easy answers, and there is no happy ending--such is the nature of men and women, and such is the nature of love--but there is hope, if we only acknowledge our need and accept the risks of a deep and lasting commitment.
This is a play full of wisdom on a subject of great relevance to all, and it provides a special insight into the thoughts of the man who, like no other, has captured the imagination of people of all faiths throughout the world. The Jeweler's Shop has been made into a full-length movie now available on video.
Karol Wojtyla--Pope John Paul II--has long been involved with the theater. As a student of literature, then priest, bishop and archbishop, he acted, directed, wrote dramatic criticism, made a Polish translation of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, and has authored six plays.