October 22, 2020 – Feast of Saint Pope John Paul II
Saint John Paul II’s Story
“Open wide the doors to Christ,” urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass where he was installed as pope in 1978.
Born in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Jozef Wojtyla had lost his mother, father, and older brother before his 21st birthday. Karol’s promising academic career at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University was cut short by the outbreak of World War II. While working in a quarry and a chemical factory, he enrolled in an “underground” seminary in Kraków. Ordained in 1946, he was immediately sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology.
Back in Poland, a short assignment as assistant pastor in a rural parish preceded his very fruitful chaplaincy for university students. Soon Fr. Wojtyla earned a doctorate in philosophy and began teaching that subject at Poland’s University of Lublin.
Communist officials allowed Wojtyla to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Kraków in 1958, considering him a relatively harmless intellectual. They could not have been more wrong!Continue reading