Oct 22 - “St. John Paul II” © artwork by Brenda Nippert. Happy Feast Day St. John Paul!
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Saint John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyła, in Poland and taught to never give up, young Karol lost his mother, then his brother, and finally his father. At twenty-one he was alone in a WWII war zone. The Nazis occupied Poland, suppressed the church, and closed the university he attended. He saw friends and neighbors gunned down or sent to Auschwitz. But, the hope in Karol's young heart would not be suffocated. He studied in secret, became a priest, and began his quest to bring the whole world closer to God. He saw in the Nazis and in the Soviet Communists, who took Poland after the war, the effects of a society without God. As he rose to bishop, cardinal, and then pope (taking the name John Paul II), he showed people that they needed God.
His devotion to the Blessed Mother and the saints gave witness to the beauty of our Catholic tradition. His faith in the young gave hope to the future. God laid a foundation in Karol Wojtyła's young heart when He showed him the horrors of the world and endowed him with the grace, fortitude, and desire to change it. God is laying a foundation in your heart today and placing the hope of the future in your hands so you can keep building the world Pope John Paul II envisioned. It's up to you to answer the call.
His feast day is October 22.