Friday, June 17, 2011


Born 18 May 1920(1920-05-18) Wadowice, Poland
Died 2 April 2005(2005-04-02) (aged 84Apostolic Palace, Vatican City
Ordination 1 November 1946by Adam Stefan Sapieha
Consecration 28 September 1958by Eugeniusz Baziak
Cardinal 26 June 1967

Papacy began 16 October 1978
Papacy ended 2 April 2005 (26 years, &168 days)
Feast day 22 October
Beatified 1 May 2011Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope Benedict XVI
Canonized 27 April 2014 St. Peter's Square, Vatican Cityby Pope Francis

“ As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live. ”
—Pope John Paul II

Blessed Pope John Paul II (Latin: Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Italian: Giovanni Paolo II, Polish: Jan Pawel II), born Karol Józef Wojtyla .His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted 26 years, &168 days; only Pope Pius IX (1846–1878) who served 31 years, has reigned longer. Pope John Paul II is the only Slavic or Polish pope to date, and was the first non-Italian Pope since Dutch Pope Adrian VI (1522–1523).John Paul II has been acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century.It is widely held that he was instrumental in ending communism in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe.Conversely, he denounced the excesses of capitalism.John Paul II is widely said to have significantly improved the Catholic Church's relations with Judaism, Islam,the Eastern Orthodox Church,and the Anglican Communion.
He was one of the most-travelled world leaders in history, visiting 129 countries during his pontificate.He spoke Italian, French, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Croatian, and Latin as well as his native Polish.As part of his special emphasis on the universal call to holiness, he beatified 1,340 people and canonised 483 saints,
Karol Józef Wojtyla (Anglicised: Charles Joseph Wojtyla) was born in the Polish town of Wadowice.and was the youngest of three children of Karol Wojtyla, an ethnic Pole.and Emilia Kaczorowska.
As a youth, Wojtyla was an athlete and often played football as a goalkeeper.His formative years were influenced by numerous contacts with the vibrant and prospering Jewish community of Wadowice. School football games were often organised between teams of Jews and Catholics, and Wojtyla would voluntarily offer himself as a substitute goalkeeper on the Jewish side if they were short of players.
In mid-1938, Karol Wojtyla and his father left Wadowice and moved to Kraków, where he enrolled at the Jagiellonian University. While studying such topics as philology and various languages at the University, he worked as a volunteer librarian and was required to participate in compulsory military training in the Academic Legion, but he refused to fire a weapon. He also performed with various theatrical groups and worked as a playwright.During this time, his talent for language blossomed and he learned as many as 12 foreign languages, nine of which he later used extensively as Pope.

In 1939, Nazi German occupation forces closed the Jagiellonian University after the invasion of Poland.All able-bodied males were required to work, and, from 1940 to 1944, Wojtyla variously worked as a messenger for a restaurant, a manual labourer in a limestone quarry and for the Solvay chemical factory to avoid being deported to Germany.His father, a non-commissioned officer in the Polish Army, died of a heart attack in 1941, leaving Karol the sole surviving member of his immediate family."I was not at my mother's death, I was not at my brother's death, I was not at my father's death," he said, reflecting on these times of his life, nearly forty years later, "At twenty, I had already lost all the people I loved."He later stated that he began thinking seriously about the priesthood after his father's death, and that his vocation gradually became ‘an inner fact of unquestionable and absolute clarity.’In October 1942, increasingly aware of his calling to the priesthood, he knocked on the door of the Archbishop's Palace in Kraków, and declared that he wanted to study for the priesthood.Soon after, he began courses in the clandestine underground seminary run by the Archbishop of Kraków, Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha.
On 29 February 1944, Wojtyla was knocked down by a German truck. German Wehrmacht officers then tended to him and sent him to a hospital. He spent two weeks there recovering from a severe concussion and a shoulder injury. This accident and his survival seemed to Wojtyla a confirmation of his priestly vocation. On 6 August 1944, ‘Black Sunday’the Gestapo rounded up young men in Kraków to avoid an uprising the previous uprising in Warsaw.Wojtyla escaped by hiding in the basement of his uncle's home at 10 Tyniecka Street, while German troops searched upstairs.More than eight thousand men and boys were taken into custody that day, but he escaped to the Archbishop's Palace.where he remained in hiding until after the Germans left..On the night of 17 January 1945, the Germans fled the city, and the students reclaimed the ruined seminary. Wojtyla and another seminarian volunteered for the unenviable task of clearing away piles of frozen excrement from the lavatories.That month, Wojtyla personally aided a 14-year-old Jewish refugee girl named Edith Zierer.who had run away from a Nazi labour camp in Czestochowa.After her collapse on a railway platform, Wojtyla carried her to a train and accompanied her safely to Kraków. Zierer credits Wojtyla with saving her life that day.
On completion of his studies at the seminary in Kraków, Karol Wojtyla was ordained as a priest on All Saints' Day, 1 November 1946.He was then sent to study theology in Rome, at the Pontifical International Athenaeum Angelicum,where he earned a licentiate and later a doctorate in sacred theology.This doctorate, the first of two, was based on the Latin dissertation The Doctrine of Faith According to Saint John of the Cross.
He returned to Poland in the summer of 1948 with his first pastoral assignment in the village of Niegowic, fifteen miles from Kraków. Arriving at Niegowic during harvest time, his first action was to kneel down and kiss the ground.This gesture, adapted from French saint Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney,In March 1949, he was transferred to the parish of Saint Florian in Kraków. He taught ethics at the Jagiellonian University and subsequently at the Catholic University of Lublin. While teaching, Wojtyla gathered a group of about 20 young people, who began to call themselves Rodzinka, the "little family". They met for prayer, philosophical discussion, and helping the blind and sick. The group eventually grew to approximately 200 participants, and their activities expanded to include annual skiing and kayaking trips.In 1954, he earned a second doctorate, in philosophy.evaluating the feasibility of a Catholic ethic based on the ethical system of phenomenologist Max Scheler. However, the Communist authorities' intervention prevented his receiving the degree until 1957.

During this period, Wojtyla wrote a series of articles in Kraków's Catholic newspaper Tygodnik Powszechny ("Universal Weekly") dealing with contemporary church issues.

On 4 July 1958,while Wojtyla was on a kayaking vacation in the lakes region of northern Poland, Pope Pius XII appointed him to the position of auxiliary bishop of Kraków. He was then summoned to Warsaw to meet the Primate of Poland, Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, who informed him of the appointment.He agreed to serve as auxiliary to Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak, and he was ordained to the Episcopate (using the title, Bishop of Ombi) on 28 September 1958.At the age of 38, he became the youngest bishop in Poland. Baziak died in June 1962 and on 16 July, Karol Wojtyla was selected as Vicar Capitular, or temporary administrator, of the Archdiocese until an Archbishop could be appointed.

Beginning in October 1962, Bishop Wojtyla took part in the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965),where he made contributions to Bishop Wojtyla also participated in all the assemblies of the Synod of Bishops the council, the Decree on Religious Freedom (in Latin, Dignitatis Humanae) and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes).
Bishop Wojtyla also participated in all the assemblies of the Synod of Bishops.On 13 January 1964, Pope Paul VI appointed him Archbishop of Kraków.On 26 June 1967, Paul VI announced Archbishop Wojtyla's promotion to the Sacred College of Cardinals.He was named Cardinal-Priest of the titulus of San Cesareo in Palatio.

In August 1978, following the death of Pope Paul VI, Cardinal Wojtyla voted in the Papal conclave that elected Pope John Paul I, who at 65 was considered young by papal standards. John Paul I died after only 33 days as Pope, thereby precipitating another conclave.The second conclave of 1978 commenced on 14 October, ten days after the funeral of Pope John Paul I. It was divided between two strong candidates for the papacy: Giuseppe Cardinal Siri, the conservative Archbishop of Genoa, and the liberal Archbishop of Florence, Giovanni Cardinal Benelli, a close associate of John Paul I.

Wojtyla ultimately won the election on the eighth ballot on the second day with, according to the Italian press, 99 votes from the 111 participating electors. He subsequently chose the name John Paul honour of his immediate predecessor, and the traditional white smoke informed the crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square that a pope had been chosen.He accepted his election with these words: ‘With obedience in faith to Christ, my Lord, and with trust in the Mother of Christ and the Church, in spite of great difficulties, I accept.

When the new pontiff appeared on the balcony, he broke tradition by addressing the gathered crowd:
“ Dear brothers and sisters, we are saddened at the death of our beloved Pope John Paul I, and so the cardinals have called for a new bishop of Rome. They called him from a faraway land – far and yet always close because of our communion in faith and Christian traditions. I was afraid to accept that responsibility, yet I do so in a spirit of obedience to the Lord and total faithfulness to Mary, our most Holy Mother. I am speaking to you in your – no, our Italian language. If I make a mistake, please ‘kirrect’ [sic] me..."

 At only 58 years of age, he was the youngest pope elected since Pope Pius IX in 1846, who was 54.
As pope, one of John Paul II's most important roles was to teach people about Christianity. He wrote 14 papal encyclicals and logged more than 1.1 million km (725,000 miles). He consistently attracted large crowds on his travels, some amongst the largest ever assembled in human history like the Manila World Youth Day, which gathered around 5 million people.

On Saturday 2 April 2005, at about 15:30 CEST, John Paul II spoke his final words, "pozwólcie mi odejsc do domu Ojca", ("Let me depart to the house of the Father"), to his aides, and fell into a coma about four hours later.He died in his private apartment, at 21:37 CEST.(19:37 UTC) of heart failure from profound hypotension and complete circulatory collapse from septic shock, 46 days short of his 85th birthday. John Paul had no close family by the time he died, and his feelings are reflected in his words, as written in 2000, at the end of his Last Will and Testament:

Since the death of John Paul II, a number of clergy at the Vatican and laymen throughout the world. Four kings, five queens, at least 70 presidents and prime ministers, and more than 14 leaders of other religions attended alongside the faithful

Benedict XVI began the beatification process for his predecessor, bypassing the normal restriction that five years must pass after a person's death before the beatification process can begin.
In early 2006, it was reported that the Vatican was investigating a possible miracle associated with John Paul II. Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a French nun and a member of the Congregation of Little Sisters of Catholic Maternity Wards, confined to her bed by Parkinson's Disease,The Vatican announced on 14 January 2011 that Pope Benedict XVI had confirmed the miracle involving Sister Marie Simon-Pierre and that John Paul II was to be beatified on 1 May, the Feast of Divine Mercy.

During his pontificate, Pope John Paul II made trips to 129 countries,

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