One of the great popes of all times, a polish pope known as John Paul II whose real name is “Karol Józef Wojtyła”, was born on May 18, 1920 in the Polish town of Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometers from Krakow. This great pope of modern times was the youngest of the three children. He’s the son of Karol Wojtyła, a non-commissioned army, and Emilia Kaczorowska. His eldest brother, Edmund, a doctor and his second elder sister named Olga had died before he was born.
In fact, his baptism was on June 20, 1920 in the parish church of Wadowice which was baptized by Fr. Franciszek Zak and made his First Holy Communion at the age of 9 years old and his confirmation at the age of 18.
After he graduated from Marcin Wadowita high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in Krakow’s Jagiellonian University in 1938 and entered in a school for drama. That’s how active John Paul II really is. Due to the calling of his priesthood in 1942, Pope John Paul II had began courses in the clandestine seminary of Krakow, run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, archbishop of Krakow. At the same time, Karol Wojtyła his father was one of the pioneers of the “Rhapsodic Theatre,” also clandestine. In addition, John Paul II continued his studies in the major seminary of Krakow, once it had re-opened, and in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University. He was also ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Sapieha in Krakow on November 1, 1946.
Indeed, Pope John Paul II became a vicar of various parishes in Krakow as well as chaplain to university students. Historically, he also took up studies in philosophy and theology in 1951 and later became a professor of moral theology and social ethics in the major seminary.
Definitely, he was elected by the Cardinals as Pope at the Conclave on the 16th of October 1978 and took the name of John Paul II on the 22nd of October, Lord’s Day, and his pontification lasted for 27 years, one of the longest in the history of Catholic Church.
Because of his passion to care and openness for the entire human race, he made several pastoral visits both outside and within Italy for more than hundreds of parishes. He had also numerous government meetings with audiences, Head State, Prime Ministers and had established World Youth Days because of his undying love for the young people around the world and care for the family which he initiated in 1994 in the World Meetings of Families. Also, with the Year of the Redemption, the Marian Year and the Year of the Eucharist, he promoted and led the spiritual renewal of the Church. He’s countless services and love for mankind made him worthy to be emulated by the masses. Furthermore, he was the one who promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the light of Tradition as authoritatively interpreted by the Second Vatican Council. He had published also several books namely: “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” (October 1994), “Gift and Mystery, on the fiftieth anniversary of my ordination as priest” (November 1996), “Roman Triptych” poetic meditations (March 2003), “Arise, Let us Be Going” (May 2004) and “Memory and Identity” (February 2005). In the Octave of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, the Church’s beloved Pastor, John Paul II, departed this world for the Father on the 2nd of April in the year of Lord 2005, at 9.37 in the evening.
John Paul II on April 8, date of the funeral of the late Pontiff, participated by more than three million pilgrims to Rome to pay homage and tribute to the remains of the Pope. Many have stayed and waited for about 24 hours just to enter St. Peter’s Basilica.
On April 28, the Holy Father Benedict XVI announced that the normal five-year waiting period before beginning the cause of beatification and canonization would be waived for John Paul II. The cause was officially opened by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome, on June 28 2005 according to the Vatican website. Moreover, Pope John Paul II was really a pope to remember because of his generous deeds and unselfish love to all the people from different nations around the world. He’d visited a lot of countries and faced millions of problems of society and able to reconciled conflicts between nations to nation.