Tempo di lettura: 16 minuti

The story of Saint John Paul II

Considerata la straordinarietà di questi Sommi Pontefici nell’offrire al clero e ai fedeli un singolare modello di virtù e nel promuovere la vita in Cristo, tenendo conto delle innumerevoli richieste da ogni parte del mondo, il Santo Padre Francesco, facendo suoi gli unanimi desideri del popolo di Dio, ha dato disposizione che le celebrazioni di S. Giovanni XXIII, papa, e di S. Giovanni Paolo II, papa, siano iscritte nel Calendario Romano generale, la prima l’11, la seconda il 22 ottobre, con il grado di memoria facoltativa.
(Vatican City, 11 September 2014 – Zenit.org)

«Fratelli e Sorelle! Non abbiate paura di accogliere Cristo e di accettare la sua potestà! 

Aiutate il Papa e tutti quanti vogliono servire Cristo e, con la potestà di Cristo, servire l’uomo e l’umanità intera! 

Non abbiate paura! Aprite, anzi, spalancate le porte a Cristo! 

Open the borders of states, economic systems as well as political ones, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development to his saving power. Do not be afraid!"

These memorable words, spoken on October 22 (date chosen for the liturgical memory) 1978 in the homily for the beginning of the pontificate (to read the>>> Homily at the beginning of the pontificateand (or) video listen to itHomily at the beginning of the pontificate of John Paul II), are now engraved in the hearts of all Christians and men of good will throughout the world.

Quello che il neoeletto Papa chiedeva a tutti, egli stesso lo ha fatto per primo: ha aperto a Cristo la società, la cultura, i sistemi politici ed economici, invertendo con la forza di un gigante, che gli veniva da Dio, una tendenza che poteva sembrare irreversibile.

Giovanni Paolo II, al secolo, Karol Józef Wojtyła, nasce a Wadowice, città a 50 km da Kraków (Polonia), il 18 maggio 1920. Era l’ultimo dei tre figli di Karol Wojtyła e di Emilia Kaczorowska, che morì nel 1929.

Suo fratello maggiore Edmund, medico, morì nel 1932 e suo padre, sottufficiale dell’esercito, nel 1941. La sorella, Olga, era morta prima che lui nascesse.

Fu battezzato il 20 giugno 1920 nella Chiesa parrocchiale di Wadowice dal sacerdote Franciszek Zak; a 9 anni ricevette la Prima Comunione e a 18 anni il sacramento della Cresima. Terminati gli studi nella scuola superiore Marcin Wadowita di Wadowice, nel 1938 si iscrisse all’Università Jagellónica di Cracovia.

When the Nazi occupation forces closed the University in 1939, the young Karol worked (1940-1944) in a quarry and, later, in the Solvay chemical factory in order to earn a living and avoid deportation to Germany.

Starting in 1942, feeling called to the priesthood, he attended the formation courses of the clandestine major seminary of Krakow, directed by the Archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha. At the same time, he was one of the promoters of the "Teatro Rhapsodico", which was also clandestine.

After the war, he continued his studies in the newly opened major seminary in Krakow and in the Faculty of Theology of the Jagiellonian University, until his priestly ordination in Krakow on November 1, 1946, at the hands of Archbishop Sapieha.

Subsequently he was sent to Rome, where, under the guidance of the French Dominican P. Garrigou-Lagrange, he obtained his doctorate in theology in 1948, with a thesis on the theme of faith in the works of Saint John of the Cross (Doctrina de fide apud Sanctum Ioannem a Cruce).

At that time, during his holidays, he exercised his pastoral ministry among Polish emigrants in France, Belgium and Holland.

In 1948 he returned to Poland and was coadjutor first in the parish of Niegowić, near Krakow, and then in that of San Floriano, in the city. He was university chaplain until 1951, when he resumed his philosophical and theological studies.

In 1953 he presented the thesis at the Catholic University of Lublin: “Evaluation of the possibility of founding a Christian ethics starting from Max Scheler's ethical system“. Later, he became a professor of moral theology and ethics in the major seminary of Krakow and in the Faculty of Theology in Lublin.

On 4 July 1958, the Venerable Pius XII appointed him titular bishop of Ombi and auxiliary of Krakow. He received episcopal ordination on 28 September 1958 in the Wawel cathedral (Krakow), from the hands of Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak.

On 13 January 1964 he was appointed Archbishop of Krakow by Blessed Paul VI, who created and proclaimed him Cardinal in the consistory of 26 June 1967, with the Title of S. Cesareo in Palatio, Deaconry elevated pro illa vice to Presbyteral Title.

Participated in the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) with an important contribution in the elaboration of the constitutionGaudium et spes. Cardinal Wojtyła also took part in the 5 assemblies of the Synod of Bishops prior to his pontificate.

I Cardinali, riuniti in Conclave, lo elessero Papa il 16 ottobre 1978. Prese il nome di Giovanni Paolo II e il 22 ottobre iniziò solennemente il ministero Petrino, quale 263° successore dell’Apostolo. Il suo pontificato è stato uno dei più lunghi della storia della Chiesa ed è durato quasi 27 anni.

John Paul II exercised his ministry with a tireless missionary spirit, dedicating all his energies driven by pastoral solicitude for all the Churches and by the charity open to all humanity.

– His apostolic trips around the world were 104.
– He made 146 pastoral visits in Italy.
– As Bishop of Rome, he visited 317 parishes (out of a total of 333).

Più di ogni Predecessore ha incontrato il Popolo di Dio e i Responsabili delle Nazioni: alle Udienze Generali del mercoledì (1166 nel corso del Pontificato) hanno partecipato più di 17 milioni e 600 mila pellegrini, senza contare tutte le altre udienze speciali e le cerimonie religiose [più di 8 milioni di pellegrini solo nel corso del Grande Giubileo dell’anno 2000], nonché i milioni di fedeli incontrati nel corso delle visite pastorali in Italia e nel mondo.

Also numerous government figures received at the hearing:

– 38 official visits;
– 738 hearings or meetings with heads of state;
– 246 hearings and meetings with Prime Ministers.

Il suo amore per i giovani lo ha spinto ad iniziare, nel 1985, le Giornate Mondiali della Gioventù. Le 19 edizioni della GMG che si sono tenute nel corso del suo Pontificato hanno visto riuniti milioni di giovani in varie parti del mondo.

In the same way, his attention to the family was expressed in the World Meetings of Families which he initiated in 1994.

John Paul II successfully promoted dialogue with Jews and with representatives of other religions, summoning them to various Prayer Meetings for Peace, especially in Assisi.

Sotto la sua guida la Chiesa si è avvicinata al terzo millennio e ha celebrato il Grande Giubileo del 2000, secondo le linee indicate con la Lettera apostolica Tertio Millennio Adveniente. It then faced the new age, receiving indications in the Apostolic LetterNovo Millennium Ineunte, in which the path of the future time was shown to the faithful.

Con l’Anno della Redenzione, l’Anno Mariano e l’Anno dell’Eucaristia, Giovanni Paolo II ha promosso il rinnovamento spirituale della Chiesa.

He gave an extraordinary impetus to canonizations and beatifications, to show innumerable examples of today's holiness, which were an incitement to the men of our time. He celebrated

– 147 beatification ceremonies and proclaimed 1338 blessed;
– 51 canonizations, for a total of 482 saints.

Ha proclamato Dottore della Chiesa santa Teresa di Gesù Bambino.

He greatly enlarged the College of Cardinals, creating 231 in 9 consistories (plus 1 in pectore, which however was not published before his death). He also convened 6 plenary meetings of the College of Cardinals.

He presided over 15 assemblies of the Synod of Bishops:
– 6 ordinary generals (1980, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1994 and 2001),
– 1 extraordinary general meeting (1985),
– 8 special assemblies (1980, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998 [2] and 1999).

Among his main documents are:

– 14 encyclical letters,
– 15 Apostolic Exhortations,
– 11 Apostolic Constitutions,
– 45 Apostolic Letters.

Ha promulgato il Catechismo della Chiesa cattolica, alla luce della Tradizione, autorevolmente interpretata dal Concilio Vaticano II. Ha riformato i Codici di diritto Canonico Occidentale e Orientale, ha creato nuove Istituzioni e riordinato la Curia Romana.

To Pope John Paul II, as a private Doctor, 5 books are also ascribed:

1.”Crossing the threshold of hope” (October 1994);

2. "Gift and mystery“: on the fiftieth anniversary of my priesthood” (November 1996);

3."Roman triptych“, meditations in the form of poetry (March 2003);

4."Get up, let's go!” (May 2004);

5."Memory and Identity” (February 2005).

John Paul II died in the Vatican on 2 April 2005, at 21.37, as Saturday was drawing to a close and we had already entered the day of the Lord, the Octave of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday.

From that evening until 8 April, when the funeral of the deceased Pontiff took place, more than three million pilgrims converged on Rome to pay homage to the Pope's body, waiting in line even up to 24 hours to be able to access the Basilica of Saint Peter (>>> the last goodbye).

Il 28 aprile successivo, il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI ha concesso la dispensa dal tempo di cinque anni di attesa dopo la morte, per l’inizio della Causa di beatificazione e canonizzazione di Giovanni Paolo II.

The Cause was officially opened on 28 June 2005 by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar General for the diocese of Rome. On April 2, 2007, two years after his death, in Bas. of St. John Lateran, the cardinal himself declared the first diocesan phase of the beatification process concluded, delivering the results to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

As of April 1, 2009, there were 251 reports of alleged miracles being examined by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

On December 19, 2009, with a decree which certifies his heroic virtues, he was proclaimed venerable

On January 14, 2011, Benedict XVI promulgated the decree attributing a miracle to the intercession of Pope John Paul II.

According to what was reported by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, it concerns the recovery from Parkinson's disease (the same from which John Paul II suffered) of the French religious sister Marie Simon-Pierre, which took place on the evening of 2 June 2005.

The beatification ceremony took place in St. Peter's Square on May 1, 2011, Divine Mercy Sunday (a feast established by John Paul II himself, on the occasion of the canonization of Sister Faustina Kowalska, on April 30, 2000).

During this event, broadcast worldwide, over one and a half million faithful from all over the world crowded the square and all the surrounding streets. About 90 international delegations attended the ceremony.

«Auctoritate Nostra Apostolica facultates facimus ut Venerabilis Servus Dei Ioannes Paulus II, pope, Beati nomine in posterum appelletur…" (video>>> Benedict XVI proclaims Pope John Paul II 'blessed').

With this formula, Pope John Paul II was beatified by Benedict XVI who during his homily said:

«Con la sua testimonianza di fede, di amore e di coraggio apostolico, accompagnata da una grande carica umana, questo esemplare figlio della Nazione polacca ha aiutato i cristiani di tutto il mondo a non avere paura di dirsi cristiani, di appartenere alla Chiesa, di parlare del Vangelo. In una parola: ci ha aiutato a non avere paura della verità, perché la verità è garanzia della libertà.

Ancora più in sintesi: ci ha ridato la forza di credere in Cristo, perché Cristo è Redemptor hominis, Redentore dell’uomo: il tema della sua first encyclicaland the leitmotif ofall the others."

And he concluded, visibly moved, in these terms:

«E poi la sua testimonianza nella sofferenza: il Signore lo ha spogliato pian piano di tutto, ma egli è rimasto sempre una “roccia”, come Cristo lo ha voluto.

La sua profonda umiltà, radicata nell’intima unione con Cristo, gli ha permesso di continuare a guidare la Chiesa e a dare al mondo un messaggio ancora più eloquente proprio nel tempo in cui le forze fisiche gli venivano meno. Così egli ha realizzato in modo straordinario la vocazione di ogni sacerdote e vescovo: diventare un tutt’uno con quel Gesù, che quotidianamente riceve e offre nella Chiesa.

Beato te, amato Papa Giovanni Paolo II, perché hai creduto! Continua – ti preghiamo – a sostenere dal Cielo la fede del Popolo di Dio. Tante volte ci hai benedetto in questa Piazza dal Palazzo! Oggi, ti preghiamo: Santo Padre ci benedica! Amen."

On 27 April 2014, His Holiness Pope Francis proclaimed his predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II as saints. Un momento di gioia e di preghiera per gli 800.000 e più fedeli che da tutto il mondo hanno affluito in piazza San Pietro, ma anche l’inizio di un viaggio eterno nella gloria della Chiesa Cattolica.

For further information (documents and videos):
Canonization of Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II … 

source © gospeloftheday.org

Karol Józef Wojtyła was born in Wadowice, Poland, in 1920.

His family and his childhood are marked by various deaths. In 1939, when Nazi Germany invades Poland, the Third Reich closes the Jagiellonian University of Krakow that he was attending, so the young Karol starts working first in a quarry and then in the Solvay chemical factory in order to earn a living and avoid deportation to Germany.

From 1942, feeling called to the priesthood, he attended the formation courses of the clandestine major seminary of Krakow, directed by Archbishop Adam Stefan Sapieha.

Shepherd in a finally free Poland

After the war, Karol was able to continue his studies in the major seminary of Krakow and at the Faculty of Theology of the Jagiellonian University, until his priestly ordination in 1946.

In 1948 he was assigned his first assignment, in Poland: coadjutor in the parish of Niegowić, near Krakow, then in that of San Floriano, in the city.

He was university chaplain until 1951, and later taught Moral Theology and Ethics in the major seminary of Krakow and in the Faculty of Theology in Lublin.

On 13 January 1964 he was appointed Archbishop of Krakow by Pope Paul VI, who created him Cardinal three years later. Immediately afterwards he took part in the Second Vatican Council where he made an important contribution to the drafting of the constitution Gaudium et spes.

First Pole on the Throne of Peter

With the premature death of John Paul I, against all odds Karol Wojtyła was elected Pope on October 16, 1978.

He is the first non-Italian Pope after 455 years - since the time of Adrian VI - the first Pole in history and also the first Pontiff from a Slavic-speaking country.

His pontificate immediately began to collect records: his apostolic journeys around the world, an expression of the constant pastoral solicitude of the Successor of Peter for all the Churches, were 104; helped by the 11 languages ​​he knew, John Paul II always worked to build bridges of relations between different nations and religions, in the name of Ecumenism, the true beacon by which he was guided throughout his long Pontificate.

Finally, in Italy, he made 146 pastoral visits and, as Bishop of Rome, he visited 317 of the current 332 Roman parishes.

A truly universal ministry

La sua sollecitudine di pastore trova espressione, inoltre, nell’erezione di numerose diocesi e circoscrizioni ecclesiastiche, nella promulgazione dei Codici di Diritto Canonico latino e delle Chiese Orientali, del Catechismo della Chiesa Cattolica.

Proponendo al Popolo di Dio momenti di particolare intensità spirituale, indice l’Anno della Redenzione, l’Anno Mariano e l’Anno dell’Eucaristia nonché il Grande Giubileo del 2000.

It brings the new generations closer by announcing the celebration of World Youth Day which starts from that first meeting in Rome on 31 March 1985 and which from then on will be celebrated every two years in a different city in the world chosen by the Pope, buying via increasingly important.

Nessun Papa, poi, ha incontrato tante persone come Giovanni Paolo II: alle Udienze Generali del mercoledì (oltre 1160) hanno partecipato più di 17 milioni e 600mila pellegrini, senza contare tutte le altre udienze speciali e le cerimonie religiose e i milioni di fedeli cui ha stretto la mano e dato una carezza nel corso delle visite pastorali in Italia e nel mondo.

The attack in St. Peter's square

John Paul II also suffered a serious attack in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981 when, as soon as he left the crowd gathered for the audience, he was wounded by a pistol shot.

After a long hospital stay, he forgives his assassin, the Turkish Ali Agca, and goes to see him in prison, where they have a long conversation.

Rendendo grazie di essere stato salvato dalla mano materna della Madre di Dio, il Papa fa poi incastonare il proiettile dal quale è stato colpito nella corona della statua della Madonna di Fatima, ricordando anche che l’attentato era avvenuto proprio il giorno in cui ne ricorreva la festa.

Aware of having received a new life, John Paul II then intensified his pastoral commitments with heroic generosity.

Documents and texts

Il Papa nel suo lungo Pontificato ha anche firmato diversi documenti entrati poi nel Magistero della Chiesa. Tra i principali si annoverano 14 Encicliche, 15 Esortazioni apostoliche, 11 Costituzioni apostoliche e 45 Lettere apostoliche. Tra queste ricordiamo due encicliche sul tema del lavoro e della dottrina sociale come la Laborem Exercens del 1981 e la Centesimus Annus del 1991, nel centenario della Rerum Novarum di Leone XIII.

We also recall the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus of 1988 in which it establishes the organization of the Roman Curia and the tasks of the various dicasteries.

Five books are also attributed to Pope John Paul II: Crossing the Threshold of Hope (October 1994); Gift and mystery: on the fiftieth anniversary of my priesthood (November 1996); Roman triptych, meditations in the form of poetry (March 2003); Get up, let's go! (May 2004) and Memory and Identity (February 2005).

Death and worship

John Paul II died in Rome, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, on Saturday 2 April 2005, at 9.37 pm, on the eve of Sunday in Albis or Divine Mercy, which he instituted.

His Pontificate was the third longest in history, after that of Peter and that of Pius IX.

The solemn funerals in St. Peter's Square are celebrated on April 8 with an incredible turnout of people. Beatified in 2011 by his immediate successor Benedict XVI, on 27 April 2014 he was canonized by Pope Francis.

This is a prayer John Paul II learned as a child and recited every day:

Come, Creator Spirit,
visit our minds,
fill with your grace
the hearts you created.

O sweet comforter,
dono del Padre altissimo,
acqua viva, fuoco, amore,
holy chrism of the soul.

Dito della mano di Dio,
promised by the Savior,
radiate your seven gifts,
arouses the word in us.
Be light to the intellect,
burning flame in the heart;
heal our wounds
col balsamo del tuo amore.

Defend us from the enemy,
brings the gift of peace,
your invincible guide
keep us from harm.
Light of eternal wisdom,
tell us the great mystery
di Dio Padre e del Figlio
united in one Love.

Sia gloria a Dio Padre,
al Figlio, che è risorto dai morti
and to the Holy Spirit
for all ages of ages.
Amen.

source © Vatican News – Dicasterium pro Communicatione

San Giovanni Paolo II
Saint John Paul II © Remigio Ruberto

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2 Commenti
  1. Avatar di Remigio

    Tutte le mattine, appena arrivati al Policlinico Gemelli, ti pregavo. Ed oggi, continuo a pregarti, per stringere a te il mio ragazzo, diventato tuo angelo.

  2. Avatar di Remigio

    Tutte le mattine, appena arrivati al Policlinico Gemelli, ti pregavo. Ed oggi, continuo a pregarti, per stringere a te il mio ragazzo, diventato tuo angelo.

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