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Pope John Paul II to be beatified May 1


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Pope John Paul II

Karol Wojtyla Pope John Paul II 264th Roman Pontiff from 1978 to Present

264th Pontiff

October 16, 1978 to 9:27 P. M. April 2, 2005

Pope John Paul II 264th Roman Catholic Pontiff 1978 to 2005 Coat of ArmsPope John Paul II will beFrench Sister Marie Simon-Pierre cured from Parkinson's by Pope John Paul II beatified on May 1, 2011.  The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Mother to whom Pope John Paul II had a special devotion. The miracle necessary for Pope John Paul II's beatification was the Parkinson's disease cure of French Sister of the Congregation of Little Sisters of Catholic Maternity Wards, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre.  Sister Marie Simon-Pierre was cured of Parkinson's two months after the death of Pope John Paul II and after she began praying to him. "There was a new strength inside me, and my body was rediscovering its utility and fluidity.  For the news conference, I told him to stay right beside me," said Sister Marie Simon-Pierre. 

A relic of a vial containing Pope John Paul II's blood which was drawn on April 2, 2005, at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome will be encased in crystal and placed in the altar of a church being built in the Lagiewniki district of Krakow as part of a center that will be devoted to the memory and the teachings of Pope John Paul II. 

Another miracle is necessary for Pope John Paul II to be declared a saint. 

Pope John Paul II's Coat of Arms with the "M" signifying his love for Mary, the Blessed Mother.

Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years since Hadrian VI of Holland (No. 218)

Maltese commemorative stamp for Pope John Paul II

                        Malta commemorative stamp

Karol Wojtyla Pope John Paul II 264th Roman Catholic Pontiff 1978 to Present Baby PicturePope John Paul II was born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Wadowice near Cracow, Poland on May 18, 1920.  His father was an army sergeant, and his mother died when he was 9. Karol Jozef Wojtyla had a sister who died before he was born and an older brother who died before adulthood.  (As an adult, Pope John Paul II lamented not having adult siblings.)  Growing up, Pope John Paul II loved athletics and drama, and he dreamt of becoming a writer.

Pope John Paul II and his fatherTo avoid being sent to a labor camp in Germany when the Nazis invaded Poland during World War II, Pope John Paul II secured a job in a stone quarry and then the Solvay chemical factory while continuing his studies of Polish literature at Jagiellonian University undetected. Ignoring curfews and SS Pope John Paul IIroundups, Pope John Paul II pursued his love of acting by performing secretly in homes. Pope John Paul II was also an expert skier and swimmer, and he canoed the rapids.  He also liked mountain climbing, hiking and kayaking.

After the Soviet liberation of Poland, Pope John Paul II finished his studies in Rome at the Angelicum. As a student, Pope John Paul II's interest was centered around religion, and he had a special devotion to the Pope John Paul II skiing in Italian alpsBlessed Virgin Mary. His personal motto Totus tuus (All thine) was dedicated to Our Lady.  In 1943, Pope John Paul II entered the seminary, and in 1946 he was ordained a priest and became pastor of Saint Florian in Cracow.  On various European missions Pope John Paul II became fluent in 8 languages and could phonetically speak 25 additional languages.

Pope John Paul II shavingPope John Paul II became a university professor, Bishop of Cracow at age 38, and titular Archbishop with the ward of Wyszynski and actively participating in the Second Vatican Council.  In 1967 Pope Paul VI named Pope John Paul II a cardinal at age 47 and assigned Saint Cesarius on the Palatine as his titular church.

Pope John Paul II was elected pope on October 16, 1978, and installed on October 22, 1978.  Popes select their names, so to honor Pope John Paul I, whose papacy was short (August 26, 1978 to September 28, 1978), Cardinal Karol Jozef Wojtyla took the name Pope John Paul II.

Pope John Paul II and EucharistFive Polish Servants of the Sacred Heart nuns cared for Pope John Paul II from the time he was Bishop Karol Jozef Wojtyla of Krakow:

Sister Tobiana was a physician who assisted the pope's doctor, Renato Buzzonetti

Sister Germana cooked Pope John Paul II's Polish meals - piroshki, cheesecake, fish in aspic, pates, vegetable pies, and carp on Christmas eve. When in school, Pope John Paul II and his classmates treated themselves to kremowki, Polish cream cakes, after exams. "After the final exam in high school, we went there to buy cream cakes. I cannot believe we stomached all those cream cakes after the exams," said Pope John Paul II.

Sister Fernanda kept the pope's pantry stocked with fresh produce and milk from his summer place, Castel Gandolfo

Sister Matylda was in charge of the pope's wardrobe

Sister Eufrosyna handled the pope's private correspondence

Pope John Paul II and Mehmet Ali Agca's motherOn May 13, 1981,* an assassination attempt was made on Pope John Paul II's life by Mehmet Ali Ağca.  After being operated on for six hours at Rome's Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic, Pope John Paul II believed Our Lady of Fatima spared him.  [The above photograph shows Pope John Paul II and Mehmet Ali Ağca's mother.]

Italy's Mitrokhin Commission led by Senator Paolo Guzzanti concluded that Soviet Union President Leonid Brezhnev ordered the Bulgarian and East German secret agencies to assassinate Pope John Paul II because Pope John Paul II was against communism.  Mehmet Ali Ağca attempted the assassination on May 13, 1981.  The inquiry found that Mr. Ağca was trained by the Soviet secret service in Yemen.  "We are sure that the secret services of the former Soviet Union have planned the attack against the pope,"  Senator Guzzanti told New Europe Radio.

Pope John Paul II 264th Roman Catholic Pontiff 1978 to Present as WriterPope John Paul II has written a book about the assassination attempt on his life entitled Memory and Identity. According to the British publishers, "He describes the day of the assassination attempt in detail. He found himself suddenly in the presence of death."

Also in his book Memory and Identity, Pope John Paul II said of his visit at Christmas 1983 to Rebibbia prison to see Mehmet Ali Ağca:  "We talked for a long time. Ali Ağca is, as everyone says, a professional assassin.  Which means that the assassination was not his initiative, that someone else thought of it, someone else gave the order."

In Memory and Identity, Pope John Paul II recalls the assassination attempt: "I had a feeling that I would survive. I was in pain, I had reason to be afraid, but I had this strange feeling of confidence...Oh, my Lord! This was a difficult experience."

Mehmet Ali was pardoned and released in 2000.  An escapee, Mr. Ağca was then rearrested by Turkey for the 1979 murder of journalist Abdi İpekçi and completed his life sentence and releasesd in January, 2010, at age 52. 

On a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal on May 12, 1982, a second assassination attempt was made on Pope John Paul II's life, this time by Father Juan María Fernández y Krohn, a Spanish priest who lunged at the Holy Father with a knife.  At first the Vatican reported that the knife missed Pope John Paul II, but after his death, Pope John Paul II's secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, said, "I can now reveal that the Holy Father was wounded.  When we got back to the room, there was blood."  Father Fernández objected to Pope John Paul II's support of the Second Vatican Council and was sentenced to six years in prison after which he was deported from Portugal.  On that visit Pope John Paul II placed one of the 9mm bullets from the first assassination attempt into Our Lady of Fatima's crown.

Researchers have uncovered 21 and possibly 22 attempts on the life of Pope John Paul II between 1978 and 1989.

Pope John Paul II kissing baby

Pope John Paul II and his motherWho were the greatest security risks to Pope John Paul II?  Italian police say devoted teenagers and young adults who jumped the barricades to touch the pope.  "Any security measures that prevents him from reaching the people - especially the poor, the sick and children - caused him displeasure," said Enrico Marenelli who headed the Italian Vatican squad for 14 years.  "It's impossible."

Pope John Paul II First Holy CommunionPope John Paul II's support for the Solidarity movement in Poland helped defeat communism in Europe. 

Pope John Paul II was a critic of the West's materialism and the excesses of capitalism citing the growing gap between the rich and the poor. 

In 1984 Pope John Paul II was the first pope to visit Canada.

Pope John Paul IIIn 1992 Pope John Paul II underwent surgery to remove a benign intestinal tumor, and in 1993 he dislocated his shoulder. In 1994 Pope John Paul II suffered a thigh fracture, in 1996 Pope John Paul II underwent hip surgery, and in 1997 the pope was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The physical after effects of the assasination attempt were permanent.

Opus Dei, the Spanish organization founded by Saint José Moria Escrivá de Balaguer was important to Pope John Paul II.

Pope John Paul II Pope John Paul II's mission was evangelical - to spread Catholicism to the Third World, particularly Africa and Latin America.  Toward that end he was a songwriter, singer, recording artist,  journalist, film actor and comedian.  Pope John Paul II's favorite movie was Life is Beautiful.  Ecumenical outreach to the Jews was also a mark of his papacy.  Pope John Paul II traveled extensively to achieve his evangelical goals visiting over 120 countires.

Pope John Paul II lying in statePope John Paul II died on April 2 at 9:27 P. M.  of septic shock and heart failure.  Dr. Renato Buzzonetti, 81, papal doctor since Pope Paul VI, said about Pope John Paul II: "He passed away slowly, amid pain and suffering, which he bore with great human dignity."  Dr. Rodolfo Proietti, Pope John Paul II's Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic doctor said about Pope John Paul II: " disproportionate means were used."

Polish bishops want Pope John Paul II's heart exhumed and brought to rest at Wawel Cathedral in Cracow, Poland.

Pope John Paul II beatifications

Last Will and Testament et al.

Pope John Paul II Intercession Prayer

Prayer for asking graces through the intercession of the servant of God, Pope John Paul II

O Blessed Trinity, we thank You for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit,
to shine through him.

Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.

Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints.


With ecclesiastical approval:
Cardinal Camillo Ruini
The Holy Father's Vicar General
For the Diocese of Rome

Catholic Movies - Pope John Paul II

"Watching this film has renewed in me a sense of profound gratitude to God for having given the Church and the world a Pope of such an exalted human and spiritual nature." —Pope Benedict XVI

Pope John Paul II visiting the faithful

Pope John Paul II 264th Roman Catholic Pontiff from 1978 to present enjoying Polish break dancers in 2003
  Pope John Paul II enjoying Polish break dancers in 2003

In 2004, Pope John Paul II welcomed 2.2 million pilgrims:


  504,600 weekly general audiences


  197,200 special audiences


  523,000 liturgical celebrations


1,007,000 Sunday and Feast Day Angelus in Saint Peter's Square

From October 16, 1978 to October 9, 2004, Pope John Paul II welcomed 426 heads of state, 187 prime ministers, and 190 foreign ministers and received letters of credence for 642 new ambassadors to the Holy See.

Pope John Paul II has written/pronounced/transmitted 90,000 pages comprising 55 volumes in the Vatican Library.

Pope John Paul II visits Mehmet Ali Agca in Rebibbia prision in ItalyMehmet Ali Agca Released from Kartel Prison on January 12, 2006*Mehmet Ali Ağca, the Turkish would-be assassin of Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter's Square in 1981, served nearly 20 years in Rebibbia, an Italian maximum-security prison, for his crime.  In 2000 he was returned to Turkey, where he had escaped from prison, to complete his sentence for the 1979 murder of journalist Abdi Ipekci who worked for the newspaper Milliyet.  Mehmet Ali Ağca's Turkish murder sentence was commuted to 10 years.  Mehmet Ali Ağca's attacks were apparently as a member of the Grey Wolves, a 1970s far-right militant group who were against leftists.  Pope John Paul II visited Mr. Ağca in Rebibbia and forgave him. In 2000, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, in agreement with Pope John Paul II, pardoned Mr. Ağca.  Mehmet Ali Ağca was released on parole from a Kartel Prison in Istanbul on January 12, 2006.

In February of 2005, when Pope John Paul II was hospitalized at Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic with the flu, Mehmet Ali Ağca sent a handwritten letter in Italian to Pope John Paul II wishing the pope "a speedy recovery."

Pope Jhn Paul II

Pope John Paul II Last Will and Testament, Rogito, Homily

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