Karol Wojtyla

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Pope John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla on May 18, 1920 at Wadowice, Poland. After studying in secret during the Nazis' occupation of his homeland, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1946, later serving…
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Pope John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla on May 18, 1920 at Wadowice, Poland. After studying in secret during the Nazis' occupation of his homeland, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1946, later serving at the Krakow diocese. Upon completing a six-year teaching tenure at the Krakow Seminary, Wojtyla was appointed an auxiliary bishop by Pope Pius XII in 1958; five years later, Pope Paul VI appointed him Archbishop of Krakow. Appointed a Cardinal of the Roman Church in 1967, he ascended to the papacy on October 16, 1978, adopting the name John Paul II; remaining in the position for the duration of the 20th century, he became the most traveled Pope ever, visiting all corners of the globe. In 1999, Sony Classical released Abba Pater, a collection of the Pope's inspirational messages set to musical accompaniment.