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#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII On May 18, 1920, Karol Józef Wojtyła was born in Wadowice in the Second Polish Republic, to parents Karol and Emilia Wojtyła.
#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII He had lost all of his immediate family to death by the age of 20, enduring the hardships of WWII in Nazi-occupied Poland, during which he secretly pursued his seminary studies.
#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII Destined for greatness (Padre Pio prophesied that he’d one day ascend to "the highest post in the Church"), he was ordained a priest on All Saints Day 1946, and undertook pastoral and academic duties in his native Poland, then under Communist rule.
#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII Consecrated a bishop on September 28, 1958, he would become a leading figure in the opposition to the Polish Communist regime, and would assume a larger leadership role on January 13, 1964, when appointed Archbishop of Kraków by Pope St Paul VI.
#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII On June 26, 1967, Paul VI would promote Wojtyła to Cardinal, and would participate in the two Papal Conclaves of 1978. The first in August saw Cardinal Albino Luciani elected, assuming the name John Paul I, a tribute to his two most recent predecessors.
#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII Upon his untimely death 33 days later, the second conclave would be held in October, and would see Wojtyła elected as the 264th Bishop of Rome on October 16, 1978, the first non-Italian born Pope since Adrian VI over 400 years prior.
To honour his short lived predecessor, he would assume the regnal name of John Paul II, and would begin the second longest pontificate in modern history.
#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII In his near 27 year pontificate, John Paul II travelled throughout the world to reach out to the faithful (including Australia in 1986 and 1995), aided by his knowledge of 12 languages, and would leave a lasting legacy throughout the entire world.
#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII It was almost short lived when Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Ağca shot him in the stomach at St Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981, with John Paul II crediting Our Lady of Fatima for saving his life on her feast day.
#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII His living under communist tyranny in his native Poland would serve him well on the global stage, and along with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan (who had himself been shot two months prior to John Paul II)...
#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII.. would become the most devoted resistors to communism in Europe, which fell, along with the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the Soviet Union in 1991. His devotion and evangelisation of the Catholic Faith would see him loved by millions around the world.
#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII His health would plague him in the last 5 years of his papacy, diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2001, and would succumb to heart failure on April 2, 2005 in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City.
#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII The cause for his canonisation began almost immediately, and would be canonised a Saint of the Catholic Church on April 27, 2014. Many institutions, buildings and shrines are named after him, and is known as St John Paul the Great by many.
#OTD #100Years #JohnPaulII On his centenary, let us give praise to one of history’s greatest figures.

Sancte Ioannes Paulus Magnus, ora pro nobis.
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