Biography - Pope John Paul II - The Papal Library
Highlights of the Life of His Holiness John Paul II His Family Father, Karol Wojtyla: Son of a master tailor Maciej and Anna, born July 18, 1879 at Lipnik near the city of Bielsko Biala, Poland. From 1900 administrative officer of the Austrian army, then lieutenant in the Polish army until his retirement in 1927. Mother, Emilia Kaczorowska: Daughter of a pack-saddle maker and refurnishes carriages, named Feliks, and Anna; born 26th of March 1884 in Krake³w, Poland. Brother, Edmund: Born on August 27, 1906 in Krake³w, physician, worked in Prowszechny Hospital in Bielsko. Karol Jósef Wojtyla 1920 May 18 Born in Wadowice (Krake³w), Poland. June 20 Baptized by the military chaplain P. Franciszek Zak, lived with his parents at Rynek 2, (now Via Koscielna 7, apt. no. 4). 1926 Sept.15 Attended the elementary school for boys, and then the prep years of secondary school Marcin Wadowita in which during all his classes he achieved the top grades. 1929 April 13 His mother dies. 1930 June Admitted to the State Secondary School for boys, Marcin Wadowita. 1932 Dec. 5 His brother Edmund dies. 1933 June 14 Finishes the third form of Secondary School. 1935 Sept Participates in military training exercises at Hermanice. Dec 14. Admitted into the Society of Mary. 1938 May Receives the Sacrament of Confirmation. May 14 Completes leaving exams at Secondary School. June 22 Enrolls in the Faculty of Philosophy (course of Polish Philosophy) at Jagiellonian University, Krake³w. From 1934-38 His first student theatrical performances in Wadowice; during Secondary School he is president of the Society of Mary; first pilgrimage to Czestochowa. Summer 1938 He and his father move to Krake³w (Via Tyniecka 10). Beginning of Academic YearWhile studying at University he joins the Studio 38, experimental theater group founded by Tadeusz Kudlinski. 1939 Feb. 6 Joins the Student Society at the Jagiellonian University ( Eucharistic and charity section). July University military training camp at Ozomki, near Wiszna Sadowa for Polish and Ukraine students. Sept. 1 Second World War begins. Nov. 2 Registers for the second year university courses in Literature and Philosophy. 1940 Feb. Meets Jan Tryanowski, tailor, a man of profound spirituality, shaped by the Carmelite School. Introduces Wojtyla to the writings of John of the Cross and Teresa dâ€™Avila. Participates in the underground theater directed by Tadeusz Kudlinski. Nov.1 He earns a living and forestalls deportation and imprisonment, as a stone cutter in quarry at Zakrzowek, Krake³w. 1941 Feb. 18, His father dies. August Receives into his house the family of Mieczyslaw Kotlarczyk, founder of the live words theater (Rhapsody): Nov. 1 First presentation of Kre³l Duch The Spirit King by Jiliusz Szowacki and then others. 1942 Spring Transferred to Solvay chemical plant. Oct. Begins clandestine studies for the priesthood in Krake³w's underground seminary; registers in the Faculty of Theology of the Jagiellonian University. 1943 March Takes the lead role of Samuel Zborowski by Juliusz Szowacki making his first appearance on the theatrical scene. It is also his last appearance in the world of theater (Clandestinely; they preform in the house of a group of friends). Academic year 1943-44 Second year of theology studies. Continues to work in the Solvay chemical plant. 1944 Feb.29-Mar.12 Hit by an automobile; recovery in hospital. August Archbishop Adam Stefan Sapieha transfers him, together with other clandestine seminarians to the Archbishop's Residence where he remains until the end of the war. He continues his studies but not his work at Solvay. Sept. 9 Receives the tonsure. Dec. 17 Receives the first two minor orders. Jan. 18 The Russian Armed Forces free Krake³w from Nazi occupation. 1944-1945 Third year of theological studies. 1945 April 9 Elected vice-president of the student organization Bratnia Pomoc (Fraternal Help) at Jagiellonian University. Serves in this capacity until the end of May 1946. 1945-1946 Fourth year of theological studies. Dec 12 Receives the two other minor orders. 1946 October 13 Sub-diaconate. October 20 Diaconate. November 1 Ordained a priest. As on the preceding occasions, he received Holy Orders from the hands of Archbishop Metropolitan Adam Sapieha in his private chapel. November 2 Celebrates his first Mass in the crypt of St. Leonard at Wawel. November 15 Leaves Poland to begin studies in Rome. November 26 Registers at the Angelicum University. Nov 15- Dec. Lodging with the Pallottines in Via Pettinari. End of Dec. Together with Fr. Starowieyski lives at the Pontifical Belgian College in Via Quirinale 26. 1947 July 3 Earns a licentiate in theology. Summer With Fr. Starowieyski he travels to France, Belgium and Holland. In the area of Charleroi he carries out his pastoral activities with the Polish workers. 1948 June 14-19 Defends his thesis The Problems of Faith in the Works of St. John of the Cross; earns a doctorate in philosophy. Beginning of July Returns from Rome to Poland. July 8 Sent as assistant pastor to Niegowic near Gde³w. Dec. 16 Earns a master's degree in theology at the Jagiellonian University in Krake³w (1942-1946). Earns a doctorate in sacred theology in the Faculty of Theology at the Jagiellonian University with highest marks. 1949 August Recalled to Krake³w to be assistant pastor at St. Florian's. From 1950 he starts his publications. 1951 Sept. 1 Archbishop Baziak puts him on leave (until 1953) to complete his qualifying exams for a university position. Up until now he served as a chaplain to the university students (in St. Florian's) and for health workers. 1953 From Oct. Gives a course in Catholic social ethics for the students of fourth year theology at the Jagiellonian University. Dec. 1-3 Completes his qualifying exams by presenting his thesis on the ethical system of Max Scheler. 1954 Faculty of Theology at the Jagiellonian University abolished, this faculty is then organized at the Seminary of Krake³w where he continues his studies. Catholic University of Lublin offers him a non-tenured professorship which he accepts. 1956 From Dec.1 Appointed to the Chair of Ethics at the Catholic University of Lublin. 1957 Nov. 15 The Central Qualifying Committee approves his appointment as free docent. 1958 July 4 Appointed Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Mons. Eugeniusz Baziak of Krake³w. 1960 Jan. First edition of Love and Responsibility (ed. by TNKUL). Dissertation published by the Academy of Sciences (Towarzystwo Naukowe) of the Catholic University of Lublin: Evaluation of the Possibility of Constructing a Christian Ethic based on the System of Max Scheler. 1962 April 15 Member of the Polish Episcopal Commission for Education. July 16 After the death of Archbishop Baziak, named Vicar Capitular . Oct. 5 Leaves for Rome to participate in the sessions of the Second Vatican Council (11 Oct. - 8 Dec). Oct.6-Dec.4 2nd Session of the Second Vatican Council. Dec 5 - 15 Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with various Bishops of different nationalities present at the Council. Dec. 30 Designated Metropolitan Bishop of Krake³w. 1964 Jan. 13 Papal Bull for the appointment of Archbishop of Krake³w. March 8 Installation ceremony. Sept. 10 Leaves for the 3rd session of the Second Vatican Council; at its conclusion makes a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, remaining for two weeks. 1965 Jan.31 - April 6 Participates in the work on Schema XIII, Gaudium et Spes on the Church in the contemporary world (Ariccia, January 31-February 6; Rome, Feb. 8-13; Rome, March 29-April 6). Sept. 14 - Opening of the 4th Session of the Second Vatican Council. Dec. 8 Solemn closing of the Second Vatican Council. Nov.18 Letter of Reconciliation of the Polish Bishops to the German Bishops, containing the famous words We forgive and ask forgiveness. 1966 Dec 29 Episcopal Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity is established; Archbishop Wojtyla is made President. During 1966 Present at the numerous celebrations of the Millennium of the Baptism of Poland. 1967 April 13-20 Participates in the first meeting of the Council for the Laity. May 29 Paul VI announces the next Consistory. Among the names of the new Cardinals elect is that of Karol Wojtyla. June 21 Leaves for the Consistory. June 28 Consecrated Cardinal in the Sistine Chapel, by Pope Paul VI - titular S. Cesareo in Palatio. Sept. 29-Oct. 29 First General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Cardinal Wojtyla does not attend as a sign of solidarity with the Primate, who was not granted a passport. Oct. 29 Reception ceremony of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa for the purpose of visitation within the Archdiocese of Krake³w. The sacred image had been held previously by the authorities in Czestochowa. 1968 Feb. 18 Takes possession of the titular Church, S. Cesareo in Palatio, Rome. Sept 25 Ad limina visit to Rome. Dec 12 Visitation of the Black Madonna concludes in the Archdiocese of Krake³w. Cardinal Wojtyla attends ceremonies in 120 parishes throughout the archdiocese. 1969 Jan 10 Official address becomes the Archbishop's Residence in Via Franciszkanska 3. Up until that time he continued to reside at his old lodgings in Via Kanonicza 22. Feb 28 During his visitation to the parish of Corpus Domini he makes a visit to the Jewish Community and to the Synagogue in the Kazimierz section of Krake³w. March 15 Approval of the statutes of the Episcopal Conference; Cardinal Wojtyla is Vice-President of the Conference. Oct. 11-28 With his return from America he participates in the First Extraordinary Synod of Bishops as a Pontifical nominated Member. Dec The Polish Theological Society (PTT) of Krakow publishes The Acting Person. 1970 April 5 Consecration of Auxiliary-Bishops Stanilsaw Smolenski and Albin Malysiak. May 27-June 2Pilgrimage of Polish priests ex. prisoners of Dachau to Rome. In this year he makes various pastoral visits to different European nations. May 29 Participates with other Polish priests in St. Peters at the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the priesthood of Paul VI. May 30 Participates in the mass of Paolo VI. Audience in occasion of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the priesthood of Paul VI. 1971 Spring Writes and publishes in the diocesan bulletin Notificationes plans for a Provincial Synod. Jan. 8 Convokes the Preparatory Commission of the Archdiocesan Synod of Krake³w. Sept. 27 Leaves for the 2nd Session of the Synod of Bishops. Oct 5 Is elected to the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. Oct. 17 Participates at the beatification of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe. 1972 May 8 Opening of the Archdiocesan Synod of Krake³w. During 1972 Publishes Foundations of Renewal: A Study on the Implementation of the Second Vatican Council, which reflects his efforts to educate the people of his archdiocese on Vatican II, (Published by PTT). 1973 Mar. 2 -9 Participates in the Eucharistic Congress in Australia. Stops at Manila and New Guinea. June 30 First meeting of the commission of experts on the Provincial Synod presided over by Cardinal Wojtyla. Sep. 26 Ad limina visit to Rome. Oct. 5 Audience with Paul VI. 1974 April 17-25 Participates in meetings commemorating the VII Centenary of St. Thomas where he gives a paper (23.IV). June 28 Participates in the celebrations for the anniversary of the coronation of Paul VI and for the consecration of Bishop Andrzej Maria Deskur. Sep. 27-Oct. 26 3rd Session of the Synod of Bishops. Card. Wojtyla, member of the Synod of Bishops, is relator on the doctrinal section. Nov. 1-3 Visit to San Giovanni Rotondo. (He was there for the first time during his student years he met with Padre Pio.). 1975 Feb. 8-9 First National Assembly of Physicians and Theologians, convoked by Cardinal Wojtyla at Krake³w. Feb. 27 Gives a paper (Participation or Alienation?) at an international study seminar of phenomenology in Fribourg. March 3-6 First meeting of the new Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. May 8 IV General Assembly of the Synod of Krake³w. Sept. 19 Visits the German Democratic Republic (DDR). Dec.1 At the invitation of Cardinal Colombo, gives a lecture at the Ambrosiana of Milan on the theme The rights of the Human Being in the light of the recent Synod of Bishops. 1976 March 7-13 Gives the spiritual exercises at the Vatican, in the presence of Pope Paul VI, the meditations from which have been published as A Sign of Contradiction. He returns to Krake³w on the 16th of March. March 27 Attends congress at the Gregorian University of Rome. He gives the introduction on the phenomenolgy of action. April 1 Gives two papers at cultural meetings and at the Angelicum, in Rome. July 23-Sept.5 Visit to the United States and Canada. Sept.8 Rome, Genova: at a philosophy conference delivers lecture entitled Theory - Praxis: a human and Christian topic. Nov. 22 Card. Wojtyla presides over the Polish delegation at the international conference in Rome for the preparations of the new Apostolic Constitution for Ecclesiastical Studies. 1977 March 1-15 Participates (presides during the absence of Card. Seper) at the third meeting of the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. March 18 Gives a lecture entitled The Problem of Creating Culture Through Human Praxis at Sacred Heart University of Milan. June 23 Receives a doctorate honoris causa from Johannes Guttenberg University, Mainz. July 1 Lecture at the Centre du Dialogue in Paris; at Osny, near Paris, he presides at a meeting for Polish Catholics. Sept. 30- Oct. 29 Ordinary Session of the Synod of Bishops. Is elected to the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod on the 24th. 1978 March 12-17 Working sessions at the Congregation for Seminaries and Institutes of Study. During this same time he is present at the ceremony in which the pallium is conferred to Archbishop Tomasek. May 16-19 Session of the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. June 21 Lecture on Love and Marriage at the Centro Internazionale Studi Famiglia (CISF) meeting on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Humanae Vitae. August 11 -12 Present at the funeral of Paul VI. August 25 Conclave begins. August 26 John Paul I (Albino Luciani) is elected Pope. August 30 John Paul I receives Cardinals and Cardinal Wojtyla in private audience; September 9, he is present at the inauguration ceremony of the pontificate of John Paul I. Sept. 19-25 Visits the Federal Republic of Germany with Cardinal Primate Stefan Wyszynski and the Bishops of Stroba and Rubin. Oct. 3 - 4 Leaves for the funeral of Pope John Paul I. Oct. 14 Conclave begins. Oct. 16, 1978 Cardinal Karol Wojtyla is elected 263 ° Successor of Peter at approximately 5:15 p.m.