Karol Jozef Wojtyla, commonly known as John Paul II, was born in the Polish town of Wadowice on May18th, 1920 to happy parents Karol and Emilia. Although originally considering having an abortion during her pregnancy with Karol due to pre-determined birthing complications, Emilia declined the offer due to her devotion to the Catholic faith. Karol was the youngest of 3 children, his sister Olga died prior to his birth, but he was very close to his older brother, Edmund. Edmund grew up to be a physician, which also led to his death due to catching scarlet fever. His mother once again had birthing complications when it came down to giving birth to her 4th child, which was then the cause of her death in 1929.
In 1938 Karol and his father moved to Krakow where he enrolled in Jagiellonian University to study philology and other languages. This was the start of Karol’s extensive dedication to learning various languages, which ended in him learning 12 foreign languages. When Nazi’s then began to invade Poland, the university was forced to close, thus ending Karol’s short-lived university experience and forcing him to work in restaurants, and becoming a manual laborer in a nearby limestone quarry to avoid deportation to Germany. During this period, his father, Karol’s only living immediate family, passed away from a heart attack. He later said, “I was not at my mother’s death, I was not at my brother’s death, I was not at my father’s death. At twenty, I had already lost all the people I loved.” One good thing that began with his father’s death was his serious consideration of entering priesthood.
In 1942, during the war, he set on his mission of studying for the priesthood at Bishop’s Palace in Krakow. After his extensive studing, Karol was ordained as a priest on November 1, 1946, also known as All Saints’ Day, by the Archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Sapieha. Archbishop Sapieha then sent him to continue his studies in Rome, where Garrigou- Lagrange mentored him. During this time, he received his doctorate in theology. He also continued his studies in philosophy and became a professor of moral theology and social ethics in the Faculty of Theology of Lublin.
After spending 2 years in Rome, John Paul returned to his home land of Poland where he served in several parishes around the area. He became the bishop of Ombi in 1858 and was later appointed as Archbishop of Krakow. Considered to be one of the best leading thinkers, he also participated in the Second Vatican Council. This job consisted of examining the church’s position in the world. Because of his contribution to the church, the Decree on Religious Freedom and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the modern world, it was only reasonable that Pope Paul VI appointed Karol as cardinal in 1967.
On October 16th of 1978, John Paul was elected as Pope at the Conclave. He was the first non-Italian pope to be elected in the past 400 years. It was this day that young Karol Jozef Wotylja officially took the name of John Paul II. During his reign as Pope, he travelled to over 100 countries using his knowledge of various languages to his advantage, and attracting large crowds of people wherever he went. Throughout his entire serving…