Our ties with John Paul II
Thanks to prof. dr Antoni Dziadkowiak's help, on 26 January 2003, our hospice received the watch belonging to John Paul II. The watch was sold at auction and for the money we bought two Toyota Yaris cars.
he office of our foundation is located at 11 Rozana Street, near to Rynek Dębnicki. It is in the tenement house that once belonged to venerable Jan Tyranowski. Initially in this house young people gathered for the rosary prayers( i.e. the Living Rosary) and then to read the Bible and talk about faith. Tyranowski believed that in every human being there exists deep religiousness that needs to be unveiled. During WWII he continued the meetings in his apartment. After the Salesians of Don Bosco in Krakow were arrested Tyranowski took care of the young men groups. It was also young Karol Wojtyła who attended these meetings. Thanks to Tyranowski Wojtyla was introduced to the writings of Spanish Carmelite mystic St. John of the Cross and after a year of Tyranowski's death Wojtyla defended his doctoral dissertation on Doctrina de fide apud S. Joannem a Cruce (Zagadnienia wiary wg Św. Jana od Krzyża).
The pope's recollections about Jan Tyranowski:
"Among many things I learnt from him were the essential methods of self-development which outrun the knowledge I received in the seminary. Tyranowski, who was inspired and moulded by the works of St. John of the Cross, introduced me to these remarkable, as for my age, books”.
Every year the representatives of the hospice visit Blessed John Paul II's Tomb. It was sealed within St. Peters under the Altar of the Chapel of St. Sebastian. The coffin is placed behind the white marble slab with an inscription Beatus Ioannes Paulus PP. II. Since October 1956 to April 2011 in that place there was a tomb in which Blessed Pope Innocent XI was buried. On the pre-conciliar altar there is a crucifix, six candles, and two small candles on the sides, which are only lit during Mass.On both sides of the chapel there are the monuments of the popes Pius XI and Pius XII, and above the altar there is a 17th century great mosaic reproduction of Domenichino's depicting St. Sebastian's martyrdom. Six four-person benches with kneelers stand in the chapel too.
On 1 May 2011, a group of representatives of our hospice attended the ceremony of Beatification of Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square in Vatican. Cardinals, bishops, archbishops from throughout the world joined Pope Benedict XVI concelebrating the beatification Mass.
Karol Jozef Wojtyla, Pope since 16 October 1978, born on 18 May 1920 in Wadowice, a town located 50 km of Krakow. He was the younger son of Karol Wojtyla, a retired army officer (1879-1941) and Emilia Kaczorowska (1884-1929). His older brother, a doctor, died in 1932 and his sister Olga died shortly after birth. Karol Wojtyla was baptised on 20 June, 1920 at the parish church in Wadowice by the priest Franciszek Zak. He made his First Holy Communion at age 9 and was confirmed at 18. After completing four-class folk elementary school studied at the Marcin Wadowita high school in Wadowice. Upon graduation from High School he enrolled in the faculty of Polish Studies at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. The Nazi occupation forces closed the university in 1939. This forced him to take a job (1940-1944) as a stone-cutter at a quarry. He also worked for the Solvay Chemical Works to earn his living and to avoid being deported to Germany. In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Cracow, run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, archbishop of Cracow. At the same time, Karol Wojtyla was one of the pioneers of the "Rhapsodic Theatre," also clandestine. After the WWII, he continued his studies in the major seminary of Cracow and in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University, until his priestly ordination in Cracow on 1 November 1946. Shortly afterwards, Cardinal Sapieha sent him to Rome so that he could start his doctorate. He studied under the guidance ofthe French Dominican, Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange and he finished his doctorate in theology in 1948 with a thesis on the subject of faith in the works of St. John of the Cross (Doctrina de fide apud Sanctum Ioannem a Cruce). At that time, during his vacations, he exercised his pastoral ministry among the Polish immigrants of France, Belgium and Holland.
Wojtyła returned to Poland in 1948. On his return he was appointed the vicar of the Niegowić parish, close to Cracow, and then lived in the parish of St. Florian's in Cracow. Since 1951 he was a chaplain to university students and he also took up his studies in philosophy and theology. In 1953 he defended a thesis on Evaluation of the possibility of founding a Catholic ethic on the ethical system of Max Scheler at Lublin Catholic University. Later he became professor of moral theology and social ethics in the major seminary of Krakow and in the Faculty of Theology of Lublin.
On 4 July 1958, he was appointed titular bishop of Ombi and auxiliary of Krakow by Pope Pius XII, and was consecrated on 28 September in Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, by Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak.
On 13 January 1964, he was appointed archbishop of Krakow by Pope Paul VI, who made him a cardinal on 26 June 1967.
Besides taking part in Vatican Council II (1962-1965) where he made an important contribution to drafting the Constitution Gaudium et spes, Cardinal Wojtyła before his papacy participated in five assemblies of the Synod of Bishops.
The Cardinals elected him Pope at the Conclave of 16 October 1978, and he took the name of John Paul II. On 22 October, he solemnly inaugurated his Petrine ministry as the 263rd successor to the Apostle. His pontificate, one of the longest in the history of the Church, lasted nearly 27 years. During his pontificate he made 146 pastoral visits within Italy. As bishop of Rome he visited 317 of the city's 333 parishes. He made 104 pastoral visits outside Italy, as a confirmation of his constant care about the Church. He had more meetings than any of his predecessors with the faithful. Almost 18 milions pilgrims participated in the General Audiences held on Wednesdays (nearly 1200), not counting other special audiences and religious ceremonies (more than 8 million pilgrims during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 alone), and millions of the faithful he met during pastoral visits in Italy and throughout the world. We must also remember the numerous government personalities he encountered during 38 official visits, 738 audiences and meetings held with Heads of State, and 246 audiences and meetings with Prime Ministers.
John Paul II was eager to meet young people and devoted them lots of attention. His love for the young brought him to establish the World Youth Days, which during his pontificate brought together millions of young people from all over the world. He celebrated 147 beatification ceremonies during which he proclaimed 1,338 Blesseds; and 51 canonizations for a total of 482 saints (including 9 Poles and two saints connected with Poland). He considerably expanded the College of Cardinals, creating 231 Cardinals (plus one in pectore, including 10 Poles) in 9 consistories. He also called six full meetings of the College of Cardinals. He organized 15 Assemblies of the Synod of Bishops - six Ordinary General Assemblies (1980, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1994 and 2001), one Extraordinary General Assembly (1985) and eight Special Assemblies (1980,1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998 (2) and 1999). His most important documents include 14 Encyclicals,15 Apostolic Exhortations, 11 Apostolic Constitutions and 45 Apostolic Letters.
He also published five books: Crossing the Threshold of Hope (October 1994), Gift and Mystery, on the fiftieth anniversary of my ordination as priest (November 1996), Roman Triptych, Poetic meditations (March 2003), Arise, Let us Be Going (May 2004) and Memory and Identity (February 2005).
On 2 April 2005, at 9.37 p.m. John Paul II departed this world for the Father. The funeral of the late Pontiff was held on 8 April, on Friday. Nearly 300 000 worshippers and 200 presidents came to St. Peter's Square to take part in the ceremony. Five million people gathered in front of big screens located in various places in Rome. The pope was buried beneath St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican. On June 28 2005 beatification process for the Servant of God John Paul II began.