St John Paul ii
Pope John Paul ii born May 18, 1920 – April 2 2005. Pope John Paul was the leader of the Catholic Church from October 16, 1978 to his death in April 2005. Born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Poland.
He was the 2nd longest serving Pope in the history of the Catholic Church.
Watch the video below for more of the life and service of the Pope.
A Brief Introduction to the Life of Saint Pope John Paul II
Born on May 18, 1920 in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Józef Wojtyla, or Pope John Paul II, was ordained in 1946, eventually assuming the role of archbishop in Krakow in 1964. After becoming a cardinal in 1967, he finally became Pope in 1978 – the first Pope in over four centuries who was not from Italy.
The Pope’s mother died when he was only 9 and his brother, Edmund, passed away after the Pope’s 12th birthday. However, he was able to cope, to some extent, as he was a natural athlete, enjoying such activities as swimming and skiing. He also possessed a liking for the theater and poetry. Nevertheless, his main desire was to become a priest. So, during the Second World War and shortly thereafter, he studied at a Krakow seminary, which operated secretly during the German occupation of Poland.
Assuming the Role of Pope
When he became Pope in 1978, John Paul II used his influence to travel to over 100 countries to spread the Christian message of peace and faith. He demonstrated his precepts when he survived an assassin’s attack in 1981 and forgave the perpetrator after being shot twice.
An Advocate of Human Rights
Because of his influence and his support of human rights, Pope Paul John II was well-known for his ability to produce changes politically. Being a strong human rights advocate, the Pope was an equally strong opponent of capital punishment as well.
The End of Pope John Paul II’s Papacy
Pope John Paul died in April 2005 at 84 years old. He passed away in his residence in Vatican City. Over three million people bid farewell to the Pope at St. Peter’s Basilica before his funeral was held on April 8th of that year.
John Paul the Great
The recent canonization of Saint Pope John Paul II is understandable, given that the popular pontiff was referred to as John Paul the Great shortly after his death. In fact, he was just one of four popes to be given this acclimation. Crowds attending John Paul II’s funeral mass encouraged early beatification of the Pope with the words, “Santo Subito!” or “Immediate Sainthood!”
As a result, Pope Benedict XVI bypassed the usual five-year mandate of beatification by waiving the waiting period. The announcement was made on May 13, 2005 – the anniversary of the assassination attempt made toward Pope John Paul II and the day of the Feast of Our Lady of Fátima.
Miraculous Events: Before Beatification
The former Pope was beatified on May 1, 2011 on Divine Mercy Sunday after a miracle was reported by a French nun suffering from Parkinson’s. Sister Marie Simon-Pierre said she was cured of Parkinson’s disease as the result of the intercession of John Paul II. Thousands of people attended the beatification event in Rome.
Another miracle occurred soon after Pope John Paul’s beatification, which resulted in the permanent healing a patient of Costa Rican descent named Floribeth Mora. Ms. Mora reportedly was healed of a brain aneurysm which defied medical explanation. Again, this miracle was attributed to the intercession of Pope John Paul II.
Approval for Canonization
Pope Francis affirmed confirmation of the approval for canonization for John Paul II on July 4, 2013.
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