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Pope John Paul II - Early Years

On Sunday, May 1, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI officially declared Pope John Paul II Blessed by reading the following words, the formula of beatification:

“We, acceding to the wish of our brother Agostino Cardinal Vallini, our Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome, of many other brothers in the Episcopate, and of many faithful, after having consulted with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, by our apostolic authority we declare that the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II, Pope, shall henceforth be invoked as Blessed and that his feast shall be celebrated in the places and according to the norms established by Church law, every year on 22 October. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Below are some other notable events, by year, in the early life of Blessed Pope John Paul II, leading up to his papacy.

Blessed Pope John Paul was born Karol Wojtyla on May 18 and baptized on June 20 near Krakow, Poland, in Wadowice, Poland.

On April 13, his mother died.

His older brother Edmund died from scarlet fever on December 4.Buy at Art.com

On June 22, he enrolled in the Faculty of Philosophy at Jagellonian University in Krakow.

In February he participated in an underground theatre that was directed by Tadeusz Kudlinski. In November, to avoid being deported or imprisoned in Nazi occupied Poland, he took a job as a stonecutter.

On February 18, his father died.

In October he entered a secret seminary in Krakow.

He was ordained a pries on November 1, then went to Rome for graduate studies.

He earned a doctorate in philosophy on June 19, and received his master’s degree in theology on December 16.

He was named associate pastor at a parish in Krakow.

He was consecrated as the auxiliary bishop of Krakow and was ordained on September 28.

He attended the second session of Vatican II, and was named archbishop of Krakow on December 30.

He was installed as the archbishop of Krakow, as well as attend the third session of Vatican II.

He took three trips to Rome to assist with the redraft of a Vatican II document on the Church in the modern world, and he attended the last Vatican II session.

Karol Wojtyla was consecrated as a cardinal on June 28, by Pope Paul VI, and was named to the first world Synod of Bishops. However he chose to stay home in protest to the government’s decision to deny Poland’s primate, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, a passport.

On October 5, he was elected to the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.

He visited East Germany on September 19.

Karol Wojtyla was elected the 264th Pope of the Catholic Church at age 58.

In a future article, I will chronicle the timeline from his election to the papacy to his death, as well as important dates thereafter.

Prayers and Devotions: 365 Daily Meditations by Pope John Paul II -- Buy from Amazon

Peace in Christ,
© Melissa Knoblett-Aman

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