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“Be not afraid.” These are the wise words spoken by one of the most beloved Popes of all time. Saint Pope John Paul II. A man held in high regard by Catholics, and non-Catholics alike.
Today on October 22 we celebrate his feast day.
Saint Pope John Paul II was born Karol Josef Wojtyla ( voy-ti-wah) in Wadowice (vah-doe-vee-chay) Poland on May 18, 1920. His parents were Karol Sr. and Emilia Wojtyla.
Karol Jr. had two older siblings, Edmund who died when Karol was 16 years old, and Olga who died in infancy.
Karol also had a younger sister also named Olga, who sadly didn’t live longer than a day. As if this wasn’t sad enough, his beloved mother died the same day. Karol was only 8 years old.
He was ordained a Priest on November 1, 1946 and a Bishop on September 28, 1958.
On October 16, 1978 Karol Wojtyla is elected as the 264th Pope.
Saint Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005 at the age of 84. He was canonized a Saint on April 27, 2014, his feast day is celebrated on October 22.
I you are a little confused as to why his feast day is on October 22, and not on the day he died, April 2, there is a logical explanation of this.
April 2 often times happens to be during Holy Week. As they wanted his feast day to be celebrated, they decided on the day October 22, the day of the Mass for the inauguration of his pontificate.
You can learn more about the detail of that in this video.
Saint John Paul II was a great man, to learn more about him you can find a full biography on this site.
Since I write a blog about books, lets not forget the books!
Here are two great books that will help kids learn about Saint John Paul II. Who he was and what he did.
The first book is geared to kids of all ages.
Lolek: The Boy Who Became Pope John Paul II by Mary Hramiec Hoffman
This is such a wonderful book. It is a bit longer of a read, but so worth it. The wonderful illustrations on every page will catch your children’s attention. This book includes so much information about St. John Paul II. It has so may visual aids in it, such as maps to illustrate where Karol was born, and where he moved when he became Pope. This book also have pronunciation guides in it, which is helpful because some of the Polish words included can through you for a loop.
The second book is a chapter book. It would be a great read for children who are able to read sufficiently. The book is to particularly long and the text inside is on the larger side. It would also make a great read-aloud. I discovered this gem at our library when I was nine years old, and fell in love with it almost immediately. It didn’t take me long to finish it.
Pope John Paul II: Young Man of the Church by George E. Stanley
This book is in a series known as the Childhood of World Figures. It’s not one of those textbooky type books. It is a living history novel written in the third person. After I read it, I felt a connection to Saint Pope John Paul II even though I never met him.
I highly recommend both of those books to any child wanting to learn more about Saint John Paul II.
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