Pope John Paul II (1920-2005):
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz Sypniewski
On October 16, 1978, a few minutes after 6 p.m., a new pope was elected by the College of Cardinals on the second day of Conclave. The election was announced in St. Peter's Square by Cardinal Pericle Felici. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was been given the name of John Paul II. This was after the death of Pope John Paul I (1912-1978) who died only 33 days after his election.
Pope John Paul died on April 2, 2005, in his Vatican apartment. His body now lays in state at the Apostolic Palace. He is dressed in crimson vestments, his head covered with a white bishop's miter. Pope John Paul reigned for longer than all but two of his predecessors:
.....Gregory XVI (1765-1864) was elected on February 2, 1831, and died at age 99 years.
.....Pius IX (1792-1878) was pope for thirty 32 years. He died at age 86.
The time of John Paul's death was at 9:37 p.m. The cause of his death was announced as septic shock and cardio-circulatory collapse.
He is now being labeled as "John Paul the Great," a title usually designated for popes worthy of sainthood, such as St. Gregory the Great (540-604) and St. Leo the Great (elected 4440-462).
The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, celebrated a Mass for the repose of Pope John Paul II's soul Sunday on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica. In his homily, he said: ''It's true. Our soul is shocked by a painful event: Our father and pastor, John Paul II, has left us. However ... he has always invited us to look to Christ, the only reason for our hope.'' He commented that John Paul had died ''serenely.''
Two Swiss guards wearing their traditional red, blue and yellow striped uniforms stood at attention on either side of the body. His body is presently in state in front of a fireplace in Clementine Hall adorned with the Vatican coat of arms with a crucifix standing to one side and an ornate candle burning on the other.
The guards also lined up to pay their respects, removing their plumed helmets before kneeling and praying before the pope's body.
Pope John Paul II was the first Polish Pope. John Paul was 58 when the cardinals elected him the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. This was since the reign of Adrian VI (born Adrian Florensz Dedal). John Paul was the first Slavic pope. Adrian (1459-1523) was born in Utrecht, and was elected pope on January 9, 1522. Adrian was the son of a carpenter, who worked to reform the Church Administration and to unite Europe together to stop the Turkish Empire from expanding.
Pope John Paul II survived a 1981 assassination attempt. After this he was the picture of frailty, weighed down by Parkinson's disease and crippling knee and hip ailments. Although he continued his travels, he was too weak to continue his famous gesture of kissing the ground when he arrived at his destinations.
John Paul was hospitalized twice in the past two months after breathing crises, and fitted with a breathing tube and a feeding tube, John Paul became a picture of suffering as his death approached.
The College of Cardinals is to meet at 10:30 a.m. Monday in its first gathering before a secret election to be held later this month to choose a new pope. These elections are held in the Sistine Chapel, by tradition.
As most people are aware, the new Pope is Benedict XVI [Joseph Ratzinger of Germany]:
The cardinals set Pope John Paul II's funeral for 10:00 a.m. Friday morning, April 8, 2005. He will be interred in the grotto at St. Peter's Basilica. By tradition his Fisherman ring will be destroyed, symbolizing the end of his reign and to prevent forgeries.
Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was Archbishop of Krakow (Cracow), Poland, before he was made pope.
... Some rather rude and insulting person told me I had "Cracow" spelled wrong. Well actually depending on your personal views and respective country, it can and is spelled two ways, as this site attests to ...
Karol's brother, Edmund Wojtyla ("Mundek") was born on August 27, 1906.
Two sisters named Olga Wojtyla were born and died shortly after birth.
Karol Joseph Wojtyl(/ over the "l")a (pronounced Voy-TEE-wah) was born on May 18, 1920 in Wadowice, a small town at the foot of the Beskid Mal~y Mountains (as part of the Carpathian Mountains) near the River Skawa. This town was named after Marcin Vadovius/Wadowita (1567-1641). Wadowice was founded in the mid-13th century, and was located south-west of Krakow.
Carolus Joseph Wojtyla was baptised on June 20, 1920. His parents are listed as: "Carolus Wojtyla, a military official; and Emilia Kaczorowska, daughter of Feliks and Marie, nee Szolc. Karol's parents were originally from Galicia. His mother's sisters were Anna and Rudolfina Kaczorowska. His godparents were: Jozef Kucmierczck, a shopkeeper, and Maria Wiadrowska. Jozef Kuczmierczyk was Karol's mother, Emilia's, brother-in-law. Maria Wiadrowska was Emilia's sister.
Karol Wojtyla, senior wanted to be a tailor, but joined the army for financial security. He was a non-commissioned officer in the 56th Infantry Regiment of the Austrian Army. Karol's grandfather was Maciej Wojtyla who was born on either January 1 or February 1, 1852. Grandpa Maciej married (1) Anna Przeczek (2)Maria Zalewska. Maciej Wojtyla, Karol's grandfather) died September 23, 1923 (age 71) and was buried with his second wife, Maria Zalewska, who died in 1917.
Karol's childhood nickname was "Lolus." He had an older brother named Edmund. Their mother died when Karol was only nine years of age. After his mother's death, on April 13, 1929, the remaining family went on a pilgrimage to a Marian santuary at Kalwaria Zebrzydowsa. His mother was suffering from heart and kidney disease before her death.
Edmund Wojtyla died on December 5, 1932 in Bielsko-Biala. at age 27 of scarlet fever, when Karol was only 13 years of age. His brother had been studying to be a doctor at Bielsko Municipal Hospital. His brother's death is clebrated each year at the Franciscan Church in Krakow, Poland.
Karol was a student of Jagiellon University in Krakow, where he studied in 1938. He was in the theater at this time, as drama was a great love of his youth. The Nazis closed the university in 1939, but Karol continued to study secretly. In 1940, Karol was forced into manual labor, and his father died in 1942. Karol was a teacher after his graduation form the university. He was hit by a German truck on February 29, 1944, and was hospitalized with a concussion and other injuries to his arm and body. He entered a seminary at Cardinal Sapieha's home in Krakow. Here he studied for the priesthood and was ordained in 1946. In 1947, Karol studied in Rome regarding St. John of the Cross. By 1948, Karol retuirned to Poland to serve as a curate and studied for his second doctorate at the University of Jagiellon. This time his major was existentist philosophy. After this he taught ethics at the Krakow seminary and Lublin University. By 1958, he was an auxilary bishop (Poland's youngest ever) and by 1967 was a cardinal.
Pope John Paul II was shot by a Turkish gunmen, Mehmet Ali Agca, on May 13, 1981. John Paul II thought his recovery was because of our Lady of Fatima. She delievered him from near death. In later years John Paul suffered form Parkinson's disease and back knees and hip. As Pope John Paul II he canonized more saints than any pope before him. He journeyed to more than 112 countries and was fluent in Latin, Greek, Polish, Spanish, Italian, German, and English. All of Karol's family is buried in the Rakowicki Cemetary in Cracow, Poland. He will be buried in Italy.
THE WOJTYLA FAMILY:
The Wojtyla family's ancestry traces back to the village of Czaniec, now a suburb of Bielska-Biala. Many members of the Wojtyla family were small farmers and merchants.
Bartlomeij Wojtyla was bron in 1788 in Czaniec, Poland. He is the first known ancestor. Bartlomiej married Anna Chudeckich (B. 1792 in Bulowice, Poland)
Franciszek Wojtyla was norn March 25, 1826, in Czarniec, Poland. Franciszek married Franciska Galuszka.
Maciej Wojtyla, Karol's grandfather, left Czaniec and moved to Lipnik, where he worked ad a guildmaster tailor and farmer. Maciej was born on January 1, 1852, in Czaniec, Poland, and died September 2, 1923 in Lipnik, near Bielsko, Poland.
Karol Wojtyla, Sr. was born in Lipnik on August 18, 1879 to Maciej and his wife Anna (nee Przeczek), a baker's daughter. Anna died when Karol Sr. was a boy, in 1882. Anna was the daughter of Franciszek Prezeczek and Maria (nee Hess). Maciej died in Lipnik when his grandson Karol, Jr. was about 3 1/2 years of age.
Karol Wojtyla, Sr. was born on May 18, 1879 in Lipnik, Poland, and baptised on July 18, 1879, and died February 18, 1941, in Krakow, Poland. He married Emilia Kaczorowski on February 10, 1906, in Wadowice, Poland. Emilia Kaczorowska's family was located in Bielsko-Bial~a. Emilia's father was Felik Kaczorowski, the son of Mikolaj and Urzula (nee Malinowska) Kaczorowski. Felik was born in Bial~a on June 26, 1849 and was a saddler. Emilia's mother was Maria Scholz, the third daughter of a cobbler (shoe maker), named Jan Scholz. Emilia's mother was Zuzanna Rybicka. Emilia was born March 26, 1884. Her parents moved to Krakow in 1885. They lived at 15 Smolenska Street, in Krakow, where Felik operated a saddlery and made upolstered horse-drawn carriages.
Edmund Wojtyla (Karl's older brother), was born August 27, 1906. He also studied at Jagiellon University in Krakow, and received his doctor's degree on May 28. 1930. Edmund worked as a physician at Bielsko Hospital. Edmund died of scarlet fever in 1932 in Wadowice, Poland.
Olga Wojtyla was born in 1914 and died in the same year. There was another daughter named Olga who also died after birth on April 13, 1929.
Karol Wojtyla, Sr. was born on May 18, 1879 in Lipnik, Poland, and baptised on July 18, 1879, and died February 18, 1941, in Cracow, Poland. He married Emilia Kaczorowski on February 10, 1906, in Wadowice, Poland. Emilia Kaczorowska's family was located in Bielsko-Bial~a. Emilia's father was Felik Kaczorowski, the son of Mikolaj and Urzula (nee Malinowska) Kaczorowski. Felik was born in Bial~a on June 26, 1849 and was a saddler. Emilia's mother was Maria Scholz, the third daughter of a cobbler (shoe maker), named Jan Scholz. Emilia's mother was Zuzanna Rybicka. Emilia was born March 26, 1884. Her parents moved to Krakow in 1885. They lived at 15 Smolenska Street, in Cracow, where Felik operated a saddlery and made upolstered horse-drawn carriages.
Stefania Wojtyla (b.1891) was Karol Sr's step-sister. was called Stefania. She was the daughter of Maciej's second wife, Maria Zalewska.
Karl Jozef ("Lolek") Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland. He was ordained into the priesthood on November 1, 1946 in Krakow, Poland. He was known as Pope John Paul II from his election on October 16, 1978.
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Grabia, Andrew. "A Study of the Genealogical Lines of the Wojtyla Family" from Rodziny. Volume III, No 2.(June 1981). Rodziny is the journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America.
Legrand, Catherine and Jacques. John Paul II. London: Dorling Kindersley, 2000.
Levi, Monsigner Virgilio and Christine Allison. John Paul II. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1999.
Walsh, editor; Michael J. Lives of the Popes. London: Slamander Books, Ltd., 1998.
Weigel, George. Witness to Hope. New York: Clift Street Books, 2001.