He was a outspoken supporter for human rights and used his influence to effect political change. He died in Italy in 2005. It had been announced in July of 2013 that he’d be declared a saint in April of the next year. His mom died when he was 9 years old, and his older brother Edmund expired when he was 12.
Growing up, John Paul was fit and loved skiing and swimming. He went to Krakow’s Jagiellonian University in 1938 where he revealed an interest in theatre and poetry. The school was closed the following year by Nazi troops throughout the German occupation of Poland. Planning to be a priest, John Paul started studying in a secret seminary run by the archbishop of Krakow.
John Paul spent two years in Rome where he completed his doctorate in theology. He returned to his native Poland in 1948 and served in a number of parishes in the vicinity of Krakow. Considered among the Catholic Church’s leading thinkers, he participated in the Second Vatican Council—occasionally called Vatican II. The council started reviewing church doctrine in 1962, holding several sessions within the span of the following couple of years. As an associate of the council, John Paul helped the church to examine its status on earth.
In 1978, John Paul made history by becoming the very first non-Italian pope in over four hundred years. As the leader of the Catholic Church, he traveled the world, seeing over 100 nations to propagate his message of religion and peace. However he was close to home when he confronted the biggest danger to his life. Luckily, he could recuperate from his injuries and afterwards forgave his attacker.
A outspoken advocate for human rights, John Paul frequently spoke out about enduring on earth. He held powerful positions on many issues, including his opposition to capital punishment. A magnetic figure, John Paul used his influence to produce political change and is credited with all the fall of communism in his native Poland. He wasn’t without critics, however. Some have said that he could be nasty with those who differed with him and that he wouldn’t endanger his hardline position on specific problems, like contraception.
In his later years, John Paul’s health seemed to be neglecting. At public appearances, he went slowly and looked unsteady on his feet. He also clearly trembled at times. Among his physicians also revealed that John Paul had Parkinson’s disease, a brain disorder frequently characterized by shaking, in 2001. However there was never any official statement about his sickness in the Vatican.
John Paul II died on April 2, 2005, in the age of 84, at his Vatican City home. More than THREE million people waited in line to say goodbye to their own cherished religious leader at St. Peter’s Basilica before his funeral on April 8. On July 5, 2013, waving the most common five-year waiting period, the Vatican declared the Roman Catholic Church would hold Pope John Paul II a saint, and the canonization service would probably occur inside the next 16 months.
On September 30, 2013, Pope Francis declared the canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII would happen on April 27, 2014. The statement of Pope John Paul II’s canonization came after the Vatican disclosed that two miracles were attributed to the late pope. The next miracle affected a 50-year old girl, who asserted that she was healed of a brain aneurysm following a photo of Pope John Paul II spoke to her. The official sainthood service, held on April 27, 2014, brought together four popes. Pope Francis directed the occasion to elevate Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII to sainthood, that was likewise attended by Francis’s forerunner Emeritus Pope Benedict.