Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II was also known as Karol Jo`zef Wojtyla. He was born on May 18, 1920 in Poland. His papacy lasted 9,664 days, which was from October 22, 1978 to April 2, 2005. Pope John Paul II was known as the most traveled pope, the longest lived pope, most influential pope in the history of the Catholic Church, and most importantly the most influential leader of the twentieth century. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the young pope had to endure symptoms such as uncontrollable shaking, paranoia, and depression as well as many other health problems during his papacy. None of these obstacles, however, hindered the pope from upholding a successful and long lasting reign as pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
On May 18, 1920 Karol Jo`zef Wojtyla was born in Wadowice, Poland to Emilia and Karol Wojtyla Sr. Also known as “Lolek” by childhood friends, Emilia and Karol could have never imagined that their little boy would soon be known as the “most influential leader of the twentieth century”. Growing up, Karol lived in a free and thriving Poland, but this would soon be darkened by the death of his mother, who died while giving birth when Karol was only nine years old. This tragedy was soon followed by the death of his older brother, Edmund, who had studied to be a doctor, in 1932. These two tragic events that occurred early in the pope’s life, although hard for a young child to go through, would be no indication of the great opportunities available to him and the huge accomplishments he would accomplish many years later. This polish boy would later be famous for being the most influential pope in the Catholic Church’s history, be known as the most traveled pope, the most accomplished pope, and whose funeral would be recorded as the most mournful ceremony in the history of the world.
When it came to a good education, Karol Wojtyla stopped at nothing, not even the closing of his university, to get it. Despite...