Saint John Paul II, Pope

Patron of the Congregation

Karol Józef Wojtyła was born in 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. After his ordination to the priesthood and theological studies in Rome, he returned to his homeland and assumed various pastoral and academic tasks. He first became an auxiliary bishop and, in 1964, the Archbishop of Krakow; he took part in the Second Vatican Council. On October 16, 1978, he was elected pope and took the name John Paul II. His exceptional apostolic zeal, particularly for families, young people, and the sick, led him to numerous pastoral visits throughout the world. Among the many fruits, which he has left as a heritage to the Church, are above all his rich Magisterium and the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church and for the Eastern Churches. He beatified and canonized St. Faustina, established the feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, and consecrated the world to Divine Mercy. In Rome on April 2, 2005, after receiving Holy Communion the vigil of the Divine Mercy Sunday, he departed peacefully in the Lord. He was canonized by Pope Francis on April 27, 2014.