| Pope John Paul II: Biography and On-Line Writings
by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
(scroll down for a list of online writings) Life: Karol Wojtyla, otherwise known as Pope John Paul II, was certainly one of the most widely talented and broadly experienced men ever to have occupied the chair of St. Peter. Born in 1920 to a devout Polish family, Pope John Paul II endured the loss of his mother at age 9, the death of his only brother a few years later, and, amidst the horrors of the Nazi occupation, finally his beloved father.
In the face of such tragedy, many would indulge in self-pity and would preoccupy themselves with self-preservation. Adversity had the opposite effect on Karol Wojtyla. He responded to it by deciding to give of himself still more generously. And so in his twenties, amidst forced labor in a quarry under the German conquerers, Karol entered a clandestine seminary and continued his studies under the oppression of the Communist "liberators."
Actor, athlete, philosopher, professor, pastor, and disciple, he became first a priest in 1946, then the youngest Polish auxiliary bishop of modern history (at age 38). It was in this capacity that the future Pope John Paul II traveled to Rome in 1962 to attend the first session of the Second Vatican Council. His holiness and brilliance being impossible to hide, he caught the eye of Pope Paul VI and was named Cardinal Archbishop of Cracow in 1967. Eleven years later, in October 1978, the world was stunned when he was elected the Successor of Peter, the first Polish Pope.
In the history of the Papacy, no Pope has traveled more extensively or has written more profusely than Pope John Paul II. Only Pius IX and St. Peter himself pastored the universal church as long as he. While all previous popes of the twentieth century combined canonized 98 saints, Pope John Paul II himself canonized 464 saints during the course of his pontificate. Many have suggested that someday Pope John Paul's name will be followed by "the Great," an honor bestowed by popular acclamation upon only two prior popes, Popes St. Gregory I and St. Leo I. For a fuller biography of this amazing man, click here. For an overview of the highlights of the first twenty years of Pope John Paul II's Pontificate, click here.
We have created sections of the Library dedicated to learning more about the teachings of Pope John Paul II: Theology of the Body contains his teachings on Human Sexuality as well as articles by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio and Christopher West which will help break down the teachings of Pope John Paul II into more digestible segments. We also have a special section of the Library dedicated to the Papacy, which will answer many questions about the meaning and workings of the Papacy that the death of our Holy Father John Paul II has raised.
Peter, the Pope and Infallibility
As we mourn the death of Pope John Paul II and celebrate his memory and extraordinary legacy, questions are raised by Catholics and Non- Catholics about the nature of the Papacy and where it came from. Peter, the Pope and Infallibility by Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio will help answer many of the questions that people may ask during this time of mourning. This CD (or AT) is 45 minutes in length and was given during Dr. D’Ambrosio Summer 2004 pilgrimage to Rome.
CD - $8.00 Audio Tape - $7.00
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