Today, October 22, the Church celebrates the liturgical memory of Saint John Paul II. Learn about the history of the Holy Polish Pontiff.
Editorial Staff (22/10/2020 09:00, Gaudium Press) Born on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Wojtyla moved to Krakow in 1938. Facing the environment of hatred and destruction amidst World War II, the future Pope came to work as a journeyman in the stone mines and then in a chemical factory.
In October 1942, he entered the clandestine seminary in Krakow and was ordained a priest on November 1, 1946. His episcopal ordination took place in 1958. His motto adopted the Marian expression ‘Totus Tuus’ (All Yours) taken from St. Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort.
Do not be afraid! Seek to open, open the doors to Christ, through Mary: so thought John Paul II.
Karol Wojtyla becomes John Paul II
In 1964 he became Archbishop of Krakow. He was created a Cardinal on June 26, 1967, by Blessed Pope Paul VI. On October 16, 1978, he was elected Supreme Pontiff, becoming the first Slavic Pope in history and the first non-Italian Pope after almost half a millennium.
Saint John Paul II: the pilgrim Pope
Saint John Paul II was nicknamed ‘the pilgrim Pope’ because of the many apostolic trips he made during his pontificate. There were 104 international trips and 146 in Italy. He visited a total of 129 countries on five continents.
Saint John Paul II: the Pope of the Family
One of the themes that received special attention in the pontificate of St. John Paul II was the role of the family in society. Among his many initiatives, we count the World Meeting of Families and the documents he published in favour of life and the family, namely the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Familiaris Consortio’ and the Encyclical Letter ‘Evangelium Vitae.’
The Polish Pontiff inspired the institution of the World Youth Days. These events have gathered millions of young people worldwide.
During his pontificate, St. John Paul II presided numerous ceremonies of beatification and canonization. In total, the Pontiff proclaimed 1,338 Blessed and 482 Saints.
Beatification and canonization of St. John Paul II
On April 2, 2005, at 9:37 p.m., St. John Paul II died. Twenty-six days later, Benedict XVI allowed the cause of canonization to begin, dispensing with the prescribed five years of waiting. On May 1, 2011, Benedict XVI proclaimed him blessed, and on April 27, 2014, Pope Francis canonized him. For his liturgical memorial, the 22nd of October was chosen. (EPC)