Updated: Oct 20, 2020
This is a saint who was alive when your parents were young. They probably remember him because he was such a well-known man. Saint John Paull II, also know as Saint John Paul the Great, is a modern saint. Karol Wojtyla (his name before he became pope) was born in Poland in 1920 and died in 2005.
His mother and his brother died when Karol Wojtyla was young. He was an excellent student in school. Wojtyla helped out at a church near his home. Later, he and his dad moved to Krakow, another city in Poland.
He loved sports. He enjoyed soccer, camping, hiking and skiing. When World War II began, the Germans invaded Poland. During the war, he worked in a factory, but he also wrote plays and joined a theater group that performed in secret to support people in Poland.
Karol Wojtyla studied to become a priest, even though taking classes was against the law. He had to learn in secret. In 1945, the war ended, and communism under the influence of the Soviet Union took over Poland. He became a priest in 1946. He became a bishop in 1958, an archbishop in 1964 and a cardinal in 1967.
Pope Saint John Paul II famous facts ...
he was the first Polish pope
he was the first non-Italian pope in more than 400 years
he traveled to more countries than any other pope in history
he was the first pope to visit a synagogue, a Jewish place of worship
he was the first pope to visit a mosque, a place of worship for Muslims
he started World Youth Day, when millions of young people gathered together with him
he was shot, visited the man in prison who shot him, and forgave him
he spoke 14 languages
he had a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother
more people saw him than any other person in history
he canonized more saints than other popes before him combined
we celebrate his feast day on October 22
he is the patron saint of families
Pope Saint John Paul II was able to accomplish all of these things because he truly gave his whole life to Jesus, through Mary. Wow! What an incredible and person!
Saint John Paul the Great, pray for us.
Crafts and other ideas for celebrating Saint Pope John Paul II
Try making this Papal Cake named after John Paul II because it was his favourite dessert.