Karol Wojtyla was born in the town of Wadowice, Poland on 18th May 1920. His studies for the priesthood were secret because of the Nazi occupation of Poland and he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Krakow in 1946. His early years as a priest were a mixture of further study and pastoral activity. At the early age of 38, Father Wojtyla was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Krakow in 1958. He became Archbishop of Krakow in 1964 and three years later was elevated to the Sacred College by Pope Paul VI.
One paragraph cannot summarise the renown and breadth of the Papacy of John Paul II. Shall we say that it was not for no reason that, after his death, he was dubbed popularly, John Paul the Great. After several years of debilitating ill-health, Pope John Paul died on 2nd April, 2005 at the age of 84, and was buried in S' Peter's Basilica. His successor, Pope Benedict XVI, Beatified John Paul II on 1st May, 2011.
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|Pope Paul VI bestows the Ring on the newly-created Cardinal Wojtyla,|
|Cardinals entering the Sistine Chapel for the Conclave which|
Elected Cardinal Wojtyla, October, 1978.
|The Cardinal Protodeacon, Cardinal Pericle Felici, imposing the Pallium|
on Pope John Paul II at the Mass Inaugurating his Pontificate
22nd October 1978.
|The Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Ratzinger|
paying his Homage to Pope John Paul II.
Mass to Inaugurate the Pontificate
22nd October 1978.
|Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1985.|
A magnificent cope in the Roman style especially made for
Pope John Paull II.
|Pope John Paul II at the Holy Door of S' Peter's Basilica|
at the Opening of the Special Jubilee Year of Redemption 1983.
Note the special form of Papal staff,
used on a few occasions by John Paul II.
|Pope John Paul II pictured around 1985.|
|Pope John Paul at the Opening of the Holy Door|
in S' Peter's Christmas, 1999.
The cope was specially made for the occasion and has,
thank God, never been seen again.
|Pope John Paul pictured in 1979.|
He is wearing a rich chasuble of deep green velvet.