Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 22: Blessed Pope John Paul II

Blessed John Paul II (1980)

History

In 1920, Karol Wojtyla was born in Poland. His mother died when he was nine, and his only brother died three years later. Karol’s father taught him to love and serve Christ and to look upon the Lord’s mother as his own. Karol went to university to study theatre, but when the Nazis took over Poland, they closed the school. When he was 22, Karol realized God was calling him to become a priest and started to take classes at a secret seminary run by the archbishop of Krakow. He also performed in plays that quietly condemned the Nazi government. After the war was over, he was able to complete his seminary training. He was ordained in 1946. Father Wojtyla was much loved and respected. He was made a bishop, then cardinal and in 1978, he became Pope John Paul II. As pope, he worked to unify believers and to inspire people to love Jesus more deeply. Toward the end of his life, Pope John Paul II was severely disabled by Parkinson’s disease, but he continued to serve the Lord and the Church, teaching us that everyone has a role in the Church, no matter what their limitations are. Very soon after his death, people began calling him John Paul the Great. On April 27 – just over six months from today! – Blessed Pope John Paul II will be canonized a saint.

Activity

When Blessed John Paul II was a young man, he used theatre to tell important stories. This is something you can do, too. Write a short play about Blessed John Paul II and perform it with your family or friends.

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us!



More reading for parents: