Beatification of a Most Beloved Pontiff: Pope John Paul II
MANILA, Philippines - Karol Jozef Wojty?a was born in the Polish town of Wadowice, a city 50 kilometers from Krakow, on May 18, 1920. He was the youngest of three children born to Karol Wojty?a and Emilia Kaczorowska. Upon graduation from Marcin Wadowita High School in Wadowice, he enrolled in Krakow's Jagiellonian University in 1938. In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Krakow, run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, archbishop of Krakow. After the Second World War, he continued his studies in the major seminary of Krakow and in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Sapieha in Krakow on November 1, 1946.
Cardinal Sapieha sent him to Rome where he worked under the guidance of the French Dominican, Garrigou-Lagrange. He finished his doctorate in theology in 1948 and returned to Poland to serve as vicar of various parishes in Krakow as well as chaplain to university students. On July 4, 1958, he was appointed titular bishop of Ombi and auxiliary of Krakow by Pope Pius XII, and was consecrated September 28, 1958, in Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, by Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak. On January 13, 1964, he was appointed archbishop of Krakow by Pope Paul VI. Pope Paul VI made him a cardinal June 26, 1967. The Cardinals elected him Pope at the Conclave of October 16, 1978, and he took the name of John Paul II. On October 22, he inaugurated his ministry as the 263rd successor to the Apostle Peter. His pontificate, one of the longest in the history of the Church, lasted nearly 27 years.
John Paul II exercised the Petrine ministry with a tireless missionary spirit. He made 104 pastoral visits outside Italy and 146 within Italy. …