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His Holiness John Paul II





[Updated: 13.02.2001]

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Karol Wojtyła

Son of a master tailor Maciej and Anna, born July 18, 1879 at Lipnik near the city of Bielsko Biała, Poland. Tailor, from 1900 administrative officer of the Austrian army, then lieutenant in the Polish army until his retirement in 1927.

Emilia Kaczorowska

Daughter of a pack-saddle maker and refurnishes carriages, named Feliks, and Maria Anna; born March 26, 1884.


Born on August 27, 1906 in Kraków, physician, worked in Powszechny Hospital in Bielsko.



May 18

Born in Wadowice (Kraków), Poland.

June 20

Baptized by the military chaplain P. Franciszek Zak.

Lived with his parents at Rynek 2, (now Via Koscielna 7, apt. no. 4).


September 15

Attended the elementary school for boys, and then the prep years of secondary school "Marcin Wadowita" in which during all his classes he achieved the top grades.


April 13

His mother dies.



Admitted to the State Secondary School for boys, "Marcin Wadowita".


December 5

His brother Edmund dies.


June 14

Finishes the third form of Secondary School.


His first student theatrical performances in Wadowice; during Secondary School he is president of the Society of Mary; first pilgrimage to Częstochowa.



Participates in military training exercises at Hermanice.

December 14

Admitted into the Society of Mary.



Receives the Sacrament of Confirmation.

May 14

Completes leaving exams at Secondary School.

June 22

Enrolls in the Faculty of Philosophy (course of Polish Philosophy) at Jagellonian University, Kraków.


He and his father move to Kraków (Via Tyniecka 10).

Academic Year

While studying at University he joins the "Studio 38", experimental theater group founded by Tadeusz Kudliński.


February 6

Joins the Student Society at the Jagellonian University (Eucharistic and charity section).


University military training camp at Ozomla, near Sadowa Wiszna for Polish and Ukraine students.

September 1

Second World War begins.

November 2

Registers for the second year university courses in Literature and Philosophy.



Meets Jan Tyranowski, tailor, a man of profound spirituality, shaped by the Carmelite School. Introduces Wojtyła to the writings of John of the Cross and Teresa d’Avila.

Participates in the underground theater directed by Tadeusz Kudliński.

November 1

He earns a living and forestalls deportation and imprisonment, as a stone cutter in quarry at Zakrzówek, Kraków.


February 18

His father dies.


Receives into his house the family of Mieczysław Kotlarczyk, founder of the live words theater (Rhapsody).

November 1

First presentation of Król Duch (The Spirit King) by Jiliusz Słowacki.



Transferred to Solvay chemical plant.


Begins clandestine studies for the priesthood in Kraków's underground seminary; registers in the Faculty of Theology of the Jagellonian University.



Takes the lead role of "Samuel Zborowski" by Juliusz Słowacki making his first appearance on the theatrical scene. It is also his last appearance in the world of theater (Clandestinely; they preform in the house of a group of friends).

Academic Year

Second year of theology studies. Continues to work in the Solvay chemical plant.


February 29 - March 12

Hit by an automobile; recovery in hospital.


Archbishop Adam Stefan Sapieha transfers him, together with other clandestine seminarians to the Archbishop's Residence where he remains until the end of the war. He continues his studies but not his work at Solvay.

November 9

Receives the tonsure.

December 17

Receives the first two minor orders.


January 18

The Russian Armed Forces free Kraków from Nazi occupation.

Academic Year

Third year of theological studies.

April 9

Elected vice-president of the student organization "Bratnia Pomoc" (Fraternal Help) at Jagellonian University. Serves in this capacity until the end of May 1946.

Academic Year

Fourth year of theological studies.

December 12

Receives the two other minor orders.


October 13


October 20


November 1

Ordained a priest. As on the preceding occasions, he received Holy Orders from the hands of Archbishop Metropolitan Adam Sapieha in his private chapel.

November 2

Celebrates his first Mass in the crypt of St. Leonard at Wawel.

November 15

Leaves Poland to begin studies in Rome.

November 26

Registers at the Angelicum University.

November 15 - end of December

Lodging with the Pallottines in Via Pettinari.

End of December

Together with Fr. Starowieyski lives at the Pontifical Belgian College in Via Quirinale 26.


July 3

Earns a licentiate in theology.


With Fr. Starowieyski he travels to France, Belgium and Holland. In the area of Charleroi he carries out his pastoral activities with the Polish workers.


June 14-19

Defends his thesis "The Problems of Faith in the Works of St. John of the Cross"; earns a doctorate in philosophy.

Beginning of July

Returns from Rome to Poland.

July 8

Sent as assistant pastor to Niegowić near Gdów.

December 16

Earns a master's degree in theology at the Jagellonian University in Kraków (1942-1946). Earns a doctorate in sacred theology in the Faculty of Theology at the Jagellonian University with highest marks.



Recalled to Kraków to be assistant pastor at St. Florian's.


He starts his publications.


September 1

Archbishop Baziak puts him on leave (until 1953) to complete his qualifying exams for a university position. Up until now he served as a chaplain to the university students (in St. Florian's) and for health workers.


From October

Gives a course in Catholic social ethics for the students of fourth year theology at the Jagellonian University.

December 1-3

Completes his qualifying exams by presenting his thesis on the "ethical system of Max Scheler".


Faculty of Theology at the Jagellonian University abolished, this faculty is then organized at the Seminary of Kraków where he continues his studies. Catholic University of Lublin offers him a non-tenured professorship which he accepts.


December 1

Appointed to the Chair of Ethics at the Catholic University of Lublin.


November 15

The Central Qualifying Committee approves his appointment as free docent.


July 4

Appointed Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Mons. Eugeniusz Baziak of Kraków.

September 28

Ordained Bishop in the Cathedral of Wawel.



Dissertation published by the Academy of Sciences (Towarzystwo Naukowe) of the Catholic University of Lublin: "Evaluation of the Possibility of Constructing a Christian Ethic based on the System of Max Scheler".

During 1960

First edition of "Love and Responsibility" (ed. by TNKUL).


April 15

Member of the Polish Episcopal Commission for Education.

July 16

After the death of Archbishop Baziak, named Vicar Capitular.

October 5

Leaves for Rome to participate in the first session of the Second Vatican Council (October 11 - December 8).


October 6 - December 4

Participates in the II Session of the Second Vatican Council.

December 5-15

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with various Bishops of different nationalities present at the Council.

December 30

Designated Metropolitan Bishop of Kraków.


January 13

Papal Bull for the appointment of Archbishop of Kraków.

March 8

Installation ceremony.

September 10

Leaves for the III session of the Second Vatican Council (September 14 - November 21); at its conclusion makes a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, remaining for two weeks.


January 31 - April 6

Participates in the work on Schema XIII, Gaudium et spes on the Church in the contemporary world (Ariccia, 31 January 31 - February 6; Rome, February 8-13; Rome, March 29 - April 6).

September 14 - December 8

IV Session and solemn closing of the Second Vatican Council.

November 18

Letter of Reconciliation of the Polish Bishops to the German Bishops, containing the famous words "We forgive and ask forgiveness".


December 29

Episcopal Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity is established; Archbishop Wojtyła is made President.

During 1966

Present at the numerous celebrations of the Millennium of the Baptism of Poland.


April 13-20

Participates in the first meeting of the Council for the Laity.

May 29

Paul VI announces the next Consistory. Among the names of the new Cardinals elect is that of Karol Wojtyła.

June 21

Leaves for the Consistory.

June 26

Consecrated Cardinal in the Sistine Chapel, by Pope Paul VI - titular S. Cesareo in Palatio.

September29 - October 29

First General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Cardinal Wojtyła does not attend as a sign of solidarity with the Primate, who was not granted a passport.

October 29

Reception ceremony of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa for the purpose of visitation within the Archdiocese of Kraków. The sacred image had been held previously by the authorities in Częstochowa.


February 18

Takes possession of the titular Church, S. Cesareo in Palatio, Rome.

September 25

"Ad limina" visit to Rome.

December 15

Visitation of the Black Madonna concludes in the Archdiocese of Kraków. Cardinal Wojtyła attends ceremonies in 120 parishes throughout the archdiocese.


January 10

Official address becomes the Archbishop's Residence in Via Franciszkanska 3. Up until that time he continued to reside at his old lodgings in Via Kanonicza 22.

February 28

During his visitation to the parish of Corpus Domini he makes a visit to the Jewish Community and to the Synagogue in the Kazimierz section of Kraków.

March 15

Approval of the statutes of the Episcopal Conference; Cardinal Wojtyła is Vice-President of the Conference.

October 11-28

With his return from America he participates in the First Extraordinary Synod of Bishops as a Pontifical nominated Member.


The Polish Theological Society (PTT) of Krakow publishes "The Acting Person" (Osoba i cyzn).


April 5

Consecration of Auxiliary-Bishops Staniłsaw Smolenski and Albin Malysiak.

May 27 - June 2

Pilgrimage of Polish priests ex-prisoners of Dachau to Rome.

May 29

Participates with other Polish priests in St. Peters at the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the priesthood of Paul VI.

May 30

Participates in the mass of Paolo VI. Audience in occasion of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the priesthood of Paul VI.

During 1970

He makes various pastoral visits to different European nations.


Janurary 8

Convokes the Preparatory Commission of the Archdiocesan Synod of Kraków.


Writes and publishes in the diocesan bulletin "Notificationes" plans for a Provincial Synod.

September 27

Leaves for the II General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (September 30 - November 6).

October 5

Is elected to the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.

October 17

Participates at the beatification of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe.


May 8

Opening of the Archdiocesan Synod of Kraków.

During 1972

Publishes Foundations of Renewal: A Study on the Implementation of the Second Vatican Council, which reflects his efforts to educate the people of his archdiocese on Vatican II, (Published by PTT).


March 2-9

Participates in the Eucharistic Congress in Australia. Stops at Manila (Philippines) and New Guinea.


Visit to Belgium.

June 30

First meeting of the commission of experts on the Provincial Synod presided over by Cardinal Wojtyła.

September 26 - October 5

"Ad limina" visit to Rome.

October 5

Audience with Paul VI.


Visit to France (Paris, Chamonix, Annecy).


April 17-25

In Italy, participates in meetings commemorating the VII Centenary of St. Thomas where he gives a paper (April 23).

June 28

In Rome, participates in the celebrations for the anniversary of the coronation of Paul VI and for the consecration of Bishop Andrzej Maria Deskur.

September27 - October 26

III General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Card. Wojtyła, member of the Synod of Bishops, is relator on the doctrinal section.

November 1-3

Visit to San Giovanni Rotondo. (He was there for the first time during his student years and met with Padre Pio).


February 8-9

First National Assembly of Physicians and Theologians, convoked by Cardinal Wojtyła at Kraków.

February 27

Gives a paper ("Participation or Alienation?") at an international study seminar of phenomenology in Fribourg.

March 3-8

First meeting of the new Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.

May 8

IV General Assembly of the Synod of Kraków.

September 19

Visits the German Democratic Republic (DDR).

December 1

At the invitation of Cardinal Colombo, gives a lecture at the Ambrosiana of Milan on the theme "The rights of the Human Being in the light of the recent Synod of Bishops".


March 7-13

Gives the spiritual exercises at the Vatican, in the presence of Pope Paul VI, the meditations from which have been published as A Sign of Contradiction. He returns to Kraków on the 16th of March.

March 27

Attends congress at the Gregorian University of Rome. He gives the introduction on the phenomenolgy of action.

April 1

Gives two papers at cultural meetings and at the Angelicum, in Rome.

July 23 - September 5

Visit to the United States and Canada.

September 8

Rome, Genova: at a philosophy conference delivers lecture entitled "Theory - Praxis: a human and Christian topic".

November 22

Card. Wojtyła presides over the Polish delegation at the international conference in Rome for the preparations of the new Apostolic Constitution for Ecclesiastical Studies.


March 1-15

Participates (presides during the absence of Card. Seper) at the third meeting of the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.

March 18

Gives a lecture entitled "The Problem of Creating Culture Through Human Praxis" at Sacred Heart University of Milan.

June 23

Receives a doctorate "honoris causa" from Johannes Guttenberg University, Mainz.

July 1

Lecture at the "Centre du Dialogue" in Paris; at Osny, near Paris, he presides at a meeting for Polish Catholics.

September 30 - October 29

IV General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Is elected to the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod on the 24th of October.


March 12-17

Working sessions at the Congregation for Seminaries and Institutes of Study. During this same time he is present at the ceremony in which the pallium is conferred to Archbishop Tomašek.

May 16-19

Session of the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.

June 21

Lecture on "Love and Marriage" at the Centro Internazionale Studi Famiglia (CISF) meeting on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Humanae Vitae.

August 11-12

Present at the funeral of Paul VI.

August 25

Conclave begins.

August 26

John Paul I (Albino Luciani) is elected Pope.

August 30

John Paul I receives Cardinals and Card. Wojtyła in private audience; 3 September, he is present at the inauguration ceremony of the pontificate of John Paul I.

September 19-25

Visits the Federal Republic of Germany with Cardinal Primate Stefan Wyszyński and the Bishops of Stroba and Rubin.

October 3-4

Leaves for the funeral of Pope John Paul I.

October 14

Conclave begins.

October 16

Cardinal Karol Wojtyła is elected 264th Pope at approximately 5:15 p.m. He is the 263rd Successor of Peter.


| 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929 |
| 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934 | 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939 |
| 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949 |
| 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 |
| 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 |
| 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 |

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