To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom. Dietrich Bonhoeffer:


Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.---RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.---ABRAHAM LINCOLN
There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.---ALEXANDRE DUMAS
“It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones" --- Alexander Solzhenitsyn quotes (Russian novelist, Nobel Prize for Literature (1970), b.1918)
“Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.” ---Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

His Holiness JOHN PAUL II Short Biography

The 18th of May.  Today is the Feast of SAINT JOHN I, Pope and Martyr and  the  Birthday of  Blessed JOHN PAUL II!    Please pray for us!    ‎"Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt" (I am all yours, and all that I have is yours).

Karol Józef Wojtyła, 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 t
he youngest of three children born to Karol Wojtyła 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 s
chool in Wadowice, he enrolled in Krakow's Jagiellonian University 
in 1938 and in a school for drama.

The Nazi occupation forces closed the university in 1939 and young Karol 
had to work in a quarry (1940-1944) and then in the Solvay 
chemical factory to earn his living and to avoid being deported to

In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the 
clandestine seminary of Krakow, run by Cardinal Adam Stefan 
archbishop of Krakow. At the same time,
Karol Wojtyła was one of the 

pioneers of the "Rhapsodic Theatre," also clandestine.

After the Second World War, he continued his studies in the major 
seminary of Krakow, once it had re-opened, and in the faculty 
of theology of the Jagiellonian University. He was ordained to 

the priesthood by Archbishop Sapieha in Krakow on November 1, 1946.

Shortly afterwards, Cardinal Sapieha sent him to Rome where he worked 
under the guidance of the French Dominican, Garrigou-Lagrange. 
He finished his doctorate in theology in 1948 with a thesis on the subject 
of faith in the works of St. John of the Cross (Doctrina de fide apud 
Ioannem a Cruce). At that time, during his vacations,
he exercised his pastoral ministry

among the Polish immigrants of France,
Belgium and Holland.

In 1948 he returned to Poland and was vicar of various parishes in 
Krakow as well as chaplain to university students. This period lasted 
until 1951 when he again took up his studies in philosophy and 
theology. In 1953 he defended a thesis on "evaluation of the possibility 
of founding a Catholic ethic on the ethical system of Max Scheler" 
at Lublin Catholic University. Later he became professor of moral 
theology and social ethics in the major seminary of Krakow and in the 

Faculty of Theology of Lublin.

On July 4, 1958, he was appointed titular bishop of Ombi and auxiliary 
of Krakow by Pope Pius XII, and was consecrated September 28, 1958, 

in Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, by Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak.

On January 13, 1964, he was appointed archbishop of Krakow by 
Pope Paul VI, who made him a cardinal June 26, 1967 with the title 
of S. Cesareo in Palatio of the order of deacons, later elevated pro illa vice 

to the order of priests.

Besides taking part in Vatican Council II (1962-1965) where he 
made an important contribution to drafting the Constitution Gaudium 
et spes, 

Cardinal Wojtyła participated in all the assemblies of the Synod
of Bishops.

The Cardinals elected him Pope at the Conclave of 16 October 1978, and 
he took the name of John Paul II. On 22 October, the Lord's Day, 
he solemnly 
inaugurated his Petrine ministry as the 263rd successor to the Apostle. 

His pontificate, one of the longest in the history of the Church, lasted
nearly 27 years.

Driven by his pastoral solicitude for all Churches and by a sense of 
openness and charity to the entire human race, John Paul II exercised 
the Petrine ministry with a tireless missionary spirit, dedicating it all his 
energy. He made 104 pastoral visits outside Italy and 146 within Italy. 

As bishop of Rome he visited 317 of the city's 333 parishes.

He had more meetings than any of his predecessors with the 
People of God and the leaders of Nations. More than 17,600,000 
pilgrims participated in the General Audiences held on Wednesdays 
(more than 1160), not counting other special audiences and religious 
ceremonies [more than 8 million pilgrims during the Great Jubilee of the 
Year 2000 alone], and the millions of faithful he met during pastoral 
visits in Italy and throughout the world. We must also remember the 
numerous government personalities he encountered during 38 
official visits, 738 audiences and meetings held with Heads of State, 

and 246 audiences and meetings with Prime Ministers.

His love for young people brought him to establish the World Youth Days. 
The 19 WYDs celebrated during his pontificate brought together millions 
of young people from all over the world. At the same time his care for 
the family was expressed in the World Meetings of Families, which he 

initiated in 1994.

John Paul II successfully encouraged dialogue with the Jews and with the 
representatives of other religions, whom he several times invited to prayer 

meetings for peace, especially in Assisi.

Under his guidance the Church prepared herself for the third millennium 
and celebrated the Great Jubilee of the year 2000 in accordance with 
the instructions given in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio adveniente. 
The Church then faced the new epoch, receiving his instructions in the 
Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte, in which he indicated to the 

faithful their future path.

With the Year of the Redemption, the Marian Year and the Year 

of the Eucharist, he promoted the spiritual renewal of the Church.

He gave an extraordinary impetus to Canonizations and Beatifications, 
focusing on countless examples of holiness as an incentive for the people 
of our time. He celebrated 147 beatification ceremonies during which 
he proclaimed 1,338 Blesseds; and 51 canonizations for a total of 482 

saints. He made Thérèse of the Child Jesus a Doctor of the Church.

He considerably expanded the College of Cardinals, creating
231 Cardinals 
(plus one in pectore) in 9 consistories. He also called six full meetings 

of the College of Cardinals.

He organized 15 Assemblies of the Synod of Bishops - six Ordinary 
General Assemblies (1980, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1994 and 2001), 
one Extraordinary General Assembly (1985) and eight Special 

Assemblies (1980,1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998 (2) and 1999).

His most important Documents include 14 Encyclicals, 15 

Apostolic Exhortations, 11 Apostolic Constitutions, 45 Apostolic Letters.

He promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the 
light of Tradition as authoritatively interpreted by the Second Vatican 
Council. He also reformed the Eastern and Western Codes of Canon Law, 

created new Institutions and reorganized the Roman Curia.

As a private Doctor he also published five books of his own: 
"Crossing the Threshold of Hope" (October 1994), "Gift and Mystery, 
on the fiftieth anniversary of my ordination as priest" (November 1996), 
"Roman Triptych" poetic meditations (March 2003),
 "Arise, Let us Be Going" 

(May 2004) and "Memory and Identity" (February 2005).

In the light of Christ risen from the dead, on 2 April a.D. 2005, at 9.37 p.m., 
while Saturday was drawing to a close and the Lord's Day was already 
beginning, the Octave of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, the Church's 

beloved Pastor, John Paul II, departed this world for the Father.

From that evening until April 8, date of the funeral of the late Pontiff, 
more than three million pilgrims came to Rome to pay homage to the 
mortal remains of the Pope. Some of them queued up to 24 hours to 

enter St. Peter's Basilica.

On April 28, the Holy Father Benedict XVI announced that the 
normal five-year waiting period before beginning the cause 
of beatification and canonization would be waived for John Paul II. 
The cause was officially opened by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar 
general for the diocese of Rome, on June 28 2005.

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