Monday, October 22, 2012


Luke 12: 13 - 21
13 One of the multitude said to him, "Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me."
14 But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?"
15 And he said to them, "Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
16 And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully;
17 and he thought to himself, `What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?'
18 And he said, `I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.'
20 But God said to him, `Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'
21 So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."


CONCERNING THE VISIT OF A HOLY SEE MISSION TO SYRIAVatican City, 22 October 2012 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi today made the following statement.
"The announced mission to Syria by representatives of the Holy See and the Synod of Bishops is still in the course of being studied and prepared, in order to be put into effect as soon as possible, and to respond effectively to its intended aims of solidarity, peace and reconciliation despite the very serious incidents that have taken place in the region recently".
Vatican City, 21 October 2012 (VIS) - This morning in St. Peter's Square, some eighty thousand people participated in a papal Mass for the canonisation of seven new saints: Jacques Berthieu, French martyr and priest of the Society of Jesus (1838-1896); Pedro Calungsod, Filipino lay catechist and martyr (1654-1672); Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and of the Congregation of the Humble Sister Servants of the Lord (1841-1913); Maria del Carmen (born Maria Salles y Barangueras), Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching (1848-1911); Marianne Cope, nee Barbara, German-American religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse U.S.A. (1838-1918); Kateri Tekakwitha, American laywoman (1656-1680), and Anna Schaeffer, German laywoman (1882-1925).
In his homily, the Holy Father drew attention to the "happy coincidence" between the current assembly of the Synod of Bishops on new evangelisation World Mission Sunday which falls today, and the readings during today's Mass which, he said, show us "how to be evangelisers, called to bear witness and to proclaim the Christian message, configuring ourselves to Christ and following His same way of life. This is true both for the mission 'ad Gentes' and for the new evangelisation in places with ancient Christian roots.
"The Son of Man came to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many", the Pope added. "These words were the existential blueprint of the seven blessed men and women that the Church solemnly enrols this morning in the glorious ranks of the saints. ... They are sons and daughters of the Church who chose a life of service following the Lord. Holiness always rises up in the Church from the well-spring of the mystery of redemption. ... Today’s canonisation is an eloquent confirmation of this mysterious salvific truth".
The Holy Father then turned his attention to the life and example of each of the new saints, beginning with Jacques Berthieu. Born in France in 1838, he was "a tireless pastor on the island of Sainte Marie, then in Madagascar, he struggled against injustice while bringing succour to the poor and sick. ... He made himself all things to all men, drawing from prayer and his love of the sacred heart of Jesus the human and priestly force to face martyrdom in 1896. ... May the life of this evangeliser be an encouragement and a model for priests that, like him, they will be men of God! May his example aid the many Christians of today persecuted for their faith! In this Year of Faith, may his intercession bring forth many fruits for Madagascar and Africa".
Pedro Calungsod was born around 1654 in the Visayas region of the Philippines. In 1668, he and other young catechists accompanied Father Diego Luis de San Vitores to the Marianas Islands to evangelise the Chamorro people. "Life there was hard and the missionaries also faced persecution arising from envy and slander", the Pope explained. "Pedro, however, displayed deep faith and charity and continued to catechise his many converts, giving witness to Christ by a life of purity and dedication to the Gospel. Uppermost was his desire to win souls for Christ, and this made him resolute in accepting martyrdom. ... May the example and courageous witness of Pedro Calungsod inspire the dear people of the Philippines to announce the Kingdom bravely and to win souls for God".
The Italian priest Giovanni Battista Piamarta "was a great apostle of charity and of young people. He raised awareness of the need for a cultural and social presence of Catholicism in the modern world. ... Animated by unshakable faith in divine providence and by a profound spirit of sacrifice, ... when he was overburdened with work, he increased the length of his encounter, heart to heart, with the Lord, ... to gain spiritual fortitude and so return to gaining people’s hearts".
The educational work of the Spanish religious Maria del Carmen Salles y Barangueras, which she "entrusted to the Immaculate Virgin Mary, continues to bear abundant fruit among young people through the generous dedication of her daughters who, like her, entrust themselves to God for Whom all is possible", the Holy Father said.
Marianne Cope "willingly embraced a call to care for the lepers of Hawaii after many others had refused". Later, on the island of Molokai, she nursed Father Damien and, following his death, continued his work among those stricken with leprosy. "At a time when little could be done for those suffering from this terrible disease, Marianne Cope showed the highest love, courage and enthusiasm".
"Kateri Tekakwitha was born in today’s New York state in 1656 to a Mohawk father and a Christian Algonquin mother. ... She was baptised at twenty years of age and, to escape persecution, took refuge in the St. Francis Xavier Mission near Montreal. There she worked, faithful to the traditions of her people although renouncing their religious convictions, until her death at the age of twenty-four. ... Kateri impresses us by the action of grace in her life in spite of the absence of external help and by the courage of her vocation, so unusual in her culture. In her, faith and culture enrich each other. May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are. St. Kateri, Protectress of Canada and the first native American saint, we entrust to you the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in all of North America. May God bless the first nations".
The young German Anna Schaeffer from Mindelstetten suffered a serious accident which left her with incurable burns on her legs and forced her to be bed-ridden for the rest of her life. "Her sickbed became her cloister cell and her suffering a missionary service", said Benedict XVI. "May her intercession strengthen the Christian hospice movement in its beneficial activity".
"These new saints, different in origin, language, nationality and social condition, are united among themselves and with the whole People of God in the mystery of salvation of Christ the Redeemer. ... May the witness of ... their lives generously spent for love of Christ, speak today to the whole Church, and may their intercession strengthen and sustain her in her mission to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world", the Holy Father concluded.
Before praying the Angelus, the Pope invoked Mary Queen of all saints, recalling how the French Marian shrine of Lourdes is currently suffering the consequences of the flooding of the Gave River. He went on: "Today too we entrust to the protection of the Virgin Mary missionary men and women - priests, religious and lay people - who spread the good seed of the Gospel all over the world. We pray also for the Synod of Bishops which is meeting during these weeks to examine the challenge of the new evangelisation for the transmission of the Christian faith".
Vatican City, 20 October 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Benedict XVI conferred the "Ratzinger Prize" upon two scholars of theology. The award was established by the "Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI".
The prize winners this year are the French historian Remi Brague, and the American scholar of patrology and theology Fr. Brian Edward Daley S.J.
Following some introductory remarks from Msgr. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti, president of the foundation, and the presentation of the two winners by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the foundation's academic committee, the Holy Father addressed some words to those present.
The winners, he said, "are experts deeply involved in two questions which are vital for the Church in our time: ecumenism and relations with other religions. Fr. Daley, by studying the Fathers of the Church, has entered into the best school for understating and loving the Church, one and undivided though in the richness of her different traditions". Remi Brague "is a great scholar of the philosophy of religions, in particular that of Judaism and Islam in the Middle Ages. Now, fifty years after the opening of Vatican Council II, I would like to join them in re-examining two conciliar documents: the Declaration 'Nostra aetate' on non-Christian religions, and the Decree 'Unitatis redintegratio' on ecumenism. To these, however, I would add another document which has proved to be immensely important: the Declaration 'Dignitatis humanae' on religious freedom".
Benedict XVI went on to recall that both prize winners "are university professors, deeply committed to teaching". This, he said, "highlights an important aspect of coherence" in the activity of the "Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI" which, apart from the prize, also grants bursaries to doctorate students of theology and organises academic conferences.
"People such as Fr. Daley and Professor Brague are exemplary figures for the transmission of a knowledge with brings together science and wisdom, academic rigour and a passion for man, that he may discover the 'art of living'. We need people who, through an illuminated and coherent faith, make God close and credible to mankind today. ... We need people whose intellect has been illuminated by the light of God, so that they can speak to the minds and hearts of others".
The Holy Father concluded: "Working in the Lord's vineyard, where He calls us, so that the men and women of our time may discover or rediscover the true 'art of living': this was also one of the great passions of Vatican Council II, and is more urgent than ever in the context of current efforts towards new evangelisation".
Vatican City, 22 October 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
- Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
Vatican City, 22 October 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Machala, Ecuador, presented by Bishop Luis Antonio Sanchez Armijos S.D.B., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
On Saturday 20 October it was made public that the Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Domenico Caliandro of Nardo-Gallipoli, Italy, as archbishop of Brindisi-Ostuni (area 1,253, population 285,396, Catholics 282,396, priests 165, permanent deacons 12, religious 233), Italy.
- Appointed Msgr. Guido Gallese of the clergy of the archdiocese of Genoa, Italy, director of the diocesan office for universities and head of youth pastoral care, as bishop of Alessandria (area 740, population 163,100, Catholics 151,200, priests 96, permanent deacons 9, religious 207), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Genoa in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1990. Among other things he has worked as vice rector of the local archdiocesan seminary, and has been involved in pastoral care in a number of parishes.
- Appointed Bishop Luigi Ernesto Palletti, auxiliary of Genoa, Italy, as bishop of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato (area 881, population 223,535, Catholics 220,921, priests 141, permanent deacons 22, religious 152), Italy.


by Fady Noun
Demonstrations and clashes in Lebanon after the Ashrafieh attack that killed Gen. Wissam al-Hasan. The opposition has called for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati. Risk of division among the Lebanese communities and a spiral of violence in the Middle East increases. But in the country of the cedars, there are also those who speak of prayer for the Syrian people and civic responses to political violence.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - Protests and violence were reported in Beirut and other cities, after the attack on Ashrafieh on 19 October that killed Lebanese intelligence chief, Gen. Wissam al-Hasan. Last night there were clashes in west Beirut and in the southern suburbs. Opposition groups demonstrated at 8pm, immediately after the funeral, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, considered too close to Syria, because there are pro-Syrian Christians and Hezbollah members in his government.

The most widespread opinion is that Syria is behind the attack on al-Hasan, even though the Lebanese security services are ruling nothing out (including an Israeli or Salafi track, as al-Hasan had destroyed their spy networks) .

Yesterday the United States offered to work with the Lebanese investigators to find those responsible for the attack. Mikati has offered his resignation, but President Michel Suleiman has not accepted it to avoid a power vacuum in such a tense situation.

At the funeral of al-Hasan were his widow and two children. The general was buried in Martyrs' Square, next to Rafic Hariri, the Prime Minister killed in an attack-bomb in 2005. Al-Hasan's investigations had led to a clear implication of Damascus in the assassination.

Al-Hasan's murder has heightened the risk of further division in the country. The President, speaking at the slain General's funeral, said that the government and people have to work "shoulder to shoulder" to overcome the challenges created by the murder. Even Saad Hariri, leader of the opposition, who took refuge abroad for security reasons, has asked his supporters to demonstrate, but without violence. Save Lebanon from the spiral of violence that is likely to involve the entire Middle East is the urgent task which drives Fady Noun, a great Lebanese journalist, in this analysis.

Of all the reactions to the Achrafieh attack, the most admirable is that of a woman hospitalized in Hotel-Dieu hospital, given to LBC: she said that at the time of the explosion that she was praying for the Syrian people, and said, "What wrong have these people done to justify such desolation?".

Exactly. What wrong did this people do to justify such suffering?

The words of a Syrian worker on a construction site were also admirable: "See, today we are paying the price of all the violence done to Lebanon."

In this double generosity of the heart is the key to peace in Lebanon - and why not, even that of Syria. The forgiveness offered by this woman of the people, whose leaders inflict such suffering is the key for an end to violence in Lebanon.

Walid Jumblatt said as much in his own way. It is with politics, the art of the common good and the possible, a noble and pragmatic art, that we must respond to the attack in Achrafieh.

"Let us not fall into the game of the instigators of the attack," warned Michel Sleiman, who fears an internal strife. They are wise words that bring some light into our dark night. The night of those on television, drunk with grief, who say that their suffering will only be met on the day when they will see the corpse of Bashar al-Assad trampled by his people, recognizable but almost destroyed, as was the case with Wissam al-Hasan, who rescuers only recognized by the wristwatch he wore and a fragment of his weapon.

That's not how you stop the violence. Is not that what Ghassan Tueni said at the burial of his son, who was assassinated in 2005. Ghassan Tueni said: "We must end revenge. Take in the violence we have received and learn to hope that it will be the last. Learn not to take revenge, learn that violence leads to more violence and that in the vicious circle, we can become prisoners of violence, perpetrating it and ending up looking like our opponent, so that nothing distinguishes us from our enemy. "

Stop the violence by responding to it with civility. Allow me to mention here to quote Michel Eddé's funeral eulogy of Ghassan Tueni, when he said that "the only lasting revolutions are white revolutions" that violence as an engine of historical change is a lost ideology.

In his book "Journey into violence," Samir Frangié cites René Girard, trying to show that there is a more atavistic violence in our violence, and that the only way of taking charge of it is by accepting it as part of us. Yes, the assassin is in each of us and the journey to the heart of the violence is a journey into ourselves. Just like the injured woman at the Hotel-Dieu, whose heart has over taken ideologies, like Ghassan Tueni, like the advise of those wise men and women still among us: we can redeem this violence that has targeted us by responding with a civilized behavior.

This does not mean being blind to the origin of the attack or its authors. The murderers are among us, as well as beyond our borders. But it means mastering the art that can stop the violence, preventing it from destroying us from within, after having destroying all those outside. We must first defeat our own violence if we want to defeat the violence of our enemy. We can and must show the world in a peaceful manner, as we have done so many times, that Lebanon really exists.



Synod Bishops: Cardinal Pell on Islam, Fasting and Religious Liberty
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
19 Oct 2012

More than 200 bishops around the world are attending the Synod which will conclude at the end of the month
During the week 25 synod fathers spoke on various aspects of the Synod of Bishop's theme, "The New Evangelisation and the Transmission of the Christian Faith".
The Synod of Bishops is a permanent institution established by Pope Paul V1 in 1965, in response to the desire of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council to keep alive the positive spirit engendered by the conciliar experience.
However this month the XXIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is the largest Synod in the history of the church.
During every Synod there are interventions of the Synod Fathers, of which the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell is one.

Cardinal George Pell in Rome attending the Synod
Cardinal Pell was one of five prelates this week who discussed Islam in their intervention.
Cardinal Pell spoke on Islam, fasting and religious liberty.
He said; "Next year will be the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, when Emperor Constantine promulgated religious freedom in the Roman Empire.
In some European and English-speaking countries Christian religious liberties are being limited by the Courts, by regulations, sometimes by parliaments.
Much more seriously we see examples of violent persecution of Catholics in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia.

Pope Benedict XVI at the opening of the Synod of Bishops
Religious liberty, as a basic human right for all law-abiding religious followers, should be a topic in the final message and in the small group discussions.
Recently I hosted a dinner to celebrate the breaking of the Ramadan fast. The Sunni mufti was on my left, the head of the Shiites on my right, with Jewish representatives adjacent. The topic of the night became fasting and penance.
It quickly emerged that the only group who fasted less than our Latin Church was some Protestants. It would be a break from Jewish and Christian tradition if this ancient practice disappeared. I commend the English bishops for reintroducing the traditional Friday abstinence.

This largest Synod in history of the church
It seems to me that we need a much more developed analysis and discussion of the consequences of the Islamic presence in the Western world for the Church and re-evangelization.
At a minimum the efforts to develop local and national interfaith dialogues and friendships should be continued and broadened."
Meantime while Cardinal Pell has been in Rome his latest book has become available online.
It is called "Contemplating Christ with Luke" and comprises a series of reflections on a year's Sunday readings from the Gospel of St Luke. The Cardinal uses contemporary events and landmarks to enrich the appreciation of the Gospel's spiritual messages.

In the introduction to the book Cardinal Pell notes that Luke is a very polished story teller, more eloquent than the other gospel writers, even if he is less dramatic than St John at his best.
"We must be grateful, As St Ambrose, the Arch bishop of Milan in the second half of the fourth century pointed out, because St Luke 'told us more about Our Lord's wonderful works than the other Evangelists'," Cardinal Pell writes.
The book is available through Connorcourt Publishing at


Agenzia Fides REPORT- The situation is currently calm, the security forces, however, have strengthened border controls and along the roads, and searched a number of houses in search of those responsible for the attack against the barracks" says to Fides Agency a source of the Church of Bissau, that wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons, where early yesterday morning, Sunday, October 21, an armed group attacked the barracks of the Red Berets, a unit of elite near the airport. At least 7 people were killed in the assault. "We are talking about the most efficient unit of the local army and is a bit at the centre of all the internal power struggles," says our source.
The government accused captain Pansau N'Tchama, considered loyal to former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior, overthrown by the military coup on April 12. The coup led by Chief of Staff, General Antonio Indjai ceded power to some politicians after signing an agreement for the establishment of a transitional government led by President Manuel Serifos Nhamadjo. This agreement was approved by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), but was rejected by Portugal (the former colonizer) and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). The European Union imposed sanctions against leading members of Guinea Bissau.
The government of Bissau accused Portugal, the CPLP and the former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior to be the instigators of the attack against the barracks. "This is the version of those in power. We are trying to figure out who is behind this incident, but it is very difficult to understand what is behind the scenes of politics in the Country. Certainly the government, accusing explicitly Portugal and the CPLP, accentuates its international isolation, " says our source. Surely there are interwoven among the last events and drug trafficking because "the struggle for political power is linked to the control of trafficking of cocaine transiting the Country from Latin America into Europe," concludes our source. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 22/10/2012)


Census shows growth in number of Catholics in Ireland | Irish church statistics, Irish census

Wiki images John Sullivan
The number of Catholics in Ireland has soared to a record high according to official census figures.

The Catholic Church in Ireland now has 3.86 million members, which is the highest number since records began, the Central Statistics Office said. However, the church's share of the population has fallen from a peak of 96% in 1961 to just 84% today, because other religions and atheism, are also growing.

The number of non-religious people has soared by 400% over the past 20 years, according to the report, with those who consider themselves atheist or agnostic reaching record levels, making non-believers the second highest group. More than 277 thousand people say they have no religion - a four fold increase since 1991.

The report is the seventh population profile to be produced using the latest set of Irish census figures. It concentrates on religion, ethnicity and cultural background,

Ireland`s Catholic population has also increased following the expansion of the EU in 2004 when Ireland along with the UK and Sweden was among the first countries to allow free movement of people when ten countries acceded to the EU. Tens of thousands of Polish migrants headed for Ireland in search of a better life, making Poles the second largest group in Ireland.

David Quinn of the Iona institute said it was notable that the number of Catholics had actually risen. "Despite everything that's happened over the last decades with scandals in the church, its amazing that so many people are still willing to call themselves Catholics. Even if some people aren`t practising regularly theres still a strong cultural link," he said.

Central Statistics Office statistician, Deirdre Cullen said the report "underlines the fact that Ireland has an increasingly diverse population where changing cultures and religious beliefs play an important part."

The report also shows newer faiths in Ireland grew much faster, with the number of Muslims doubling in a decade to 49,000. There are now over 10,000 Hindus, some 45,000 Orthodox Christians, while the Apostolic and Pentecostal church-goers have quadrupled to over 14,000.



In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O glorious apostle, SAINT JUDE THADDEUS, true relative of Jesus and Mary, I salute you through the most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Through this Heart I praise and thank God for all the graces He has bestowed upon you. Humbly prostrate before you, I implore you through this Heart to look down upon me with compassion. Oh, despise not my poor prayer; let not my trust be confounded! To you God has granted the privilege of aiding mankind in the most desperate cases. Oh, come to my aid that I may praise the mercies of God! All my life I will be grateful to you and will be your faithful client until I can thank you in heaven. Amen.
Priest: "Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
People:"Blessed Apostle, with confidence we invoke you!"
Priest: "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
People: "St. Jude, help of the hopeless, aid me in my distress."
PRAY FOR US that we before death may expiate all our sins by sincere repentance and the worthy reception of the holy Sacraments.
Pray for us that we may appease the Divine Justice and obtain a favorable judgment.
Pray for us that we may be admitted into the company of the blessed to rejoice in the presence of our God forever.
The following prayer to be recited by both priest and people.
Saint Jude, glorious apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor has caused you to be forgotten by many. But the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of difficult and desperate cases. Pray for me who am so miserable. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege accorded to you to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly — (here make your request) — and that I may bless God with you and all the elect throughout all eternity.
I promise you, O blessed JUDE, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor you as my special and powerful patron and do all in my power to encourage devotion to you. Amen.
Saint Jude, pray for us and for all who honor you and invoke your aid.
(Say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father, 3 times.)


Compiled by: Miriam Westen Blessed Pope John Paul II was born and named Karol Jozef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920. He died on April 2, 2005 at the age of 84 years. John Paul II reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from October 16, 1978 until his death. He was the only Polish Pontiff to reign.

The Pontiff was influencial in the downfall of Communism. He traveled more than any other Pope in history, visiting 129 countries. The Holy Father spoke many languages including: Polish, Italian, Spanish, German, English, Portuguese, Russian, French, Croatian and Latin. He beatified 1, 340 people and canonised 483 Saints.

John Paul II was beatified on May 1, 2011 and his memorial is celebrated on Oct. 22.
(image source:

Karol Wojtyla was born in Poland in Wadowice. He was the youngest of 3 children to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. When Karol was 8 years old his mother(April 13, 1929) died. Olga, Karol's elder sister died in infancy. His only remaining sibling, a brother Edmund, was a physician. Edmund, 14 years older than Karol, died from scarlet fever. (image source:

In 1938, Karol and his father moved to Krakow. He then studied at Jagiellonian University. Here Karol engaged in theatrical works and hard labour. His father died of a heart attack in 1941. Wojtyla began priestly studies in 1942 at an underground seminary. He was ordained a priest on November 1, 1946 by Archbishop Cardinal Sapieha.
Karol then went to Rome to study at the Pontifical International Athenaeum Angelicum. Here he received a licentiate and a doctorate in Sacred Theology. In 1948, he returned to Poland and was head of a local Parish.
Fr. Wojtyla began to teach ethics at the Jagiellonian University. In 1954, he received another doctorate in philosophy. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Krakow in 1958.
Bishop Wojtyla was an active participant of the Second Vatican Council, which occurred in 1962-1965. In 1964, Karol was appointed Archbishop of Krakow. In 1967, Karol was promoted to Cardinal. He was inaugurated Pontiff on October, 22, 1978. Karol took the name John Paul II after the preceding Pope John Paul I who died early in his reign.
He became the 264th Pope to reign at the age of 58. He wrote 14 Papal Encyclicals. He took the motto Totus Tuus in reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He had a special devotion to the Mother of God.
As Pope, John Paul established "World Youth Days", these gathered young Catholics from around the world for a week of prayer and activities. The largest gathering of people, in history, occurred in Manila, Phillipines at the World Youth Day with JPII. Here around 5 million gathered to celebrate the Catholic Faith.

On May 13, 1981 JPII was shot and wounded by Mehmet Ali Agca. This was an assassination attempt by this Turkish man as a member of a fascist group. He underwent extensive surgery and narrowly survived. He thanked Our Lady of Fatima for his survival. In 1983, JPII visited his assassin in prison. (image sources: google)

Pope John Paul II was very influential in ecumenism and met with many religious and political leaders. He is thought to have aided in the fall of Communism.
"True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather, it lies in the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school and at work, and in social and political involvement." Blessed Pope John Paul II..