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Karol Józef Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in the Polish town of Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometers from Krakow, on May 18, 1920. He was the youngest of three children born to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. His mother died in 1929. His eldest brother Edmund, a doctor, died in 1932 and his father, a non-commissioned army officer died in 1941. A sister, Olga, had died before he was born. He was baptized on June 20, 1920 in the parish church of Wadowice by Fr. Franciszek Zak, made his First Holy Communion at age 9 and was confirmed at 18. Upon graduation from Marcin Wadowita high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in Krakow's Jagiellonian University in 1938 and in a school for drama.

The Nazi occupation forces...
Prof. Guegen's Account of John Paul II's Legacy
To interpret the ways in which John Paul II actualized his potentiality brings us into the difficult terrain where relevant facts have to be weighed and balanced relative to one another. Such judgments are inevitably influenced—and perhaps decisively—by the interpreter’s own education and experience, and above all by his familiarity with his subject (in this case very extensive as a result of first-hand witness as well as reading and discussion).

A colleague at ISU (historian) suggested that when our era is viewed from a distant historical perspective, the three popes who governed the Church between 1958 and 2005—almost half a century—may be treated as a unit because of the great unifying events of the period: Vatican II and its aftermath in ecclesiastical history and the...
A Documentary on Blessed John Paul II to be brought out in English and screened in Houston
Frank Zammit, of Malta, has produced two extraordinary documentaries about the life of Blessed John Paul II.

Reflections on the Philosopher Pope

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