German Wehrmacht officers tended to him and sent him to a hospital. He spent two weeks there recovering from a severe concussion and a shoulder injury.
It seemed to him that this accident and his survival was a confirmation of his vocation. On the night of 17 January , the Germans fled the city , and the students reclaimed the ruined seminary. One of the ways of honour, proposed by Emmanuelle Pacifici, the head of Italy's Jewish community, was the medal of the Righteous Among the Nations. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange beginning on 26 November John of the Cross in philosophy on 19 June Duncker, author of the Compendium grammaticae linguae hebraicae biblicae.
They met for prayer, philosophical discussion, and to help the blind and sick. However, the Communist authorities abolished the Faculty of Theology at the Jagellonian University, thereby preventing him from receiving the degree until War, life under Communism, and his pastoral responsibilities all fed his poetry and plays. In Stalinist-era Poland, it was not permitted for priests to travel with groups of students.
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The nickname gained popularity among his followers. Baziak was the principal consecrator. According to the historian John W. Crosby, as pope, John Paul II used the words of Gaudium et spes later to introduce his own views on the nature of the human person in relation to God: man is "the only creature on earth that God has wanted for its own sake", but man "can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself". He also participated in the assemblies of the Synod of Bishops.
In , he was instrumental in formulating the encyclical Humanae vitae , which dealt with the same issues that forbid abortion and artificial birth control. These same Cardinals would be the ones who would give him most support at his eventual election to the papacy .
John Paul I died after only 33 days as pope, triggering another conclave. The second conclave of started on 14 October, ten days after the funeral. Supporters of Benelli were confident that he would be elected, and in early ballots , Benelli came within nine votes of success. Giovanni Colombo , the Archbishop of Milan was considered as a compromise candidate among the Italian cardinal-electors, but when he started to receive votes, he announced that, if elected, he would decline to accept the papacy.
He accepted his election with the words: "With obedience in faith to Christ, my Lord, and with trust in the Mother of Christ and the Church, in spite of great difficulties, I accept. Peter's Square that a pope had been chosen. There had been rumors that the new pope wished to be known as Pope Stanislaus in honor of the Polish saint of the name, but was convinced by the cardinals that it was not a Roman name. Dear brothers and sisters, we are saddened at the death of our beloved Pope John Paul I, and so the cardinals have called for a new bishop of Rome.
They called him from a faraway land—far and yet always close because of our communion in faith and Christian traditions. I was afraid to accept that responsibility, yet I do so in a spirit of obedience to the Lord and total faithfulness to Mary, our most Holy Mother.
I am speaking to you in your—no, our Italian language. If I make a mistake, please ' corrict ' me He consistently attracted large crowds, some among the largest ever assembled in human history , such as the Manila World Youth Day , which gathered up to four million people, the largest Papal gathering ever, according to the Vatican. He was the first pope ever to visit several countries in one year, starting in with Mexico  and Ireland. He travelled to Haiti in , where he spoke in Creole to thousands of impoverished Catholics gathered to greet him at the airport.
His message, "things must change in Haiti," referring to the disparity between the wealthy and the poor, was met with thunderous applause.
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He visited the Umayyad Mosque , a former Christian church where John the Baptist is believed to be interred,  where he made a speech calling for Muslims, Christians and Jews to live together. On 15 January , during the X World Youth Day, he offered Mass to an estimated crowd of between five and seven million in Luneta Park ,  Manila , Philippines, which was considered to be the largest single gathering in Christian history. They also hoped that if the pope abided by the rules they set, that the Polish people would see his example and follow them as well.
If the pope's visit inspired a riot, the Communist leaders of Poland were prepared to crush the uprising and blame the suffering on the pope. The pope won that struggle by transcending politics.
His was what Joseph Nye calls ' soft power ' — the power of attraction and repulsion. He began with an enormous advantage, and exploited it to the utmost: He headed the one institution that stood for the polar opposite of the Communist way of life that the Polish people hated. He was a Pole, but beyond the regime's reach. By identifying with him, Poles would have the chance to cleanse themselves of the compromises they had to make to live under the regime.
And so they came to him by the millions. They listened. He told them to be good, not to compromise themselves, to stick by one another, to be fearless, and that God is the only source of goodness, the only standard of conduct. Millions shouted in response, 'We want God!
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We want God! Had the Pope chosen to turn his soft power into the hard variety, the regime might have been drowned in blood. Instead, the Pope simply led the Polish people to desert their rulers by affirming solidarity with one another. The Communists managed to hold on as despots a decade longer. But as political leaders, they were finished.
According to John Lewis Gaddis , one of the most influential historians of the Cold War , the trip led to the formation of Solidarity and would begin the process of Communism's demise in Eastern Europe:. When Pope John Paul II kissed the ground at the Warsaw airport he began the process by which Communism in Poland—and ultimately elsewhere in Europe—would come to an end.
On later trips to Poland, he gave tacit support to the Solidarity organisation. Total attendance at these signature events of the pontificate was in the tens of millions. The Great Jubilee of was a call to the Church to become more aware and to embrace her missionary task for the work of evangelization. From the beginning of my Pontificate, my thoughts had been on this Holy Year as an important appointment. I thought of its celebration as a providential opportunity during which the Church, thirty-five years after the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, would examine how far she had renewed herself, in order to be able to take up her evangelising mission with fresh enthusiasm.
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As pope, John Paul II wrote 14 papal encyclicals and taught about sexuality in what is referred as the " Theology of the Body ". Some key elements of his strategy to "reposition the Catholic Church" were encyclicals such as Ecclesia de Eucharistia , Reconciliatio et paenitentia and Redemptoris Mater. In his At the beginning of the new millennium Novo Millennio Ineunte , he emphasised the importance of "starting afresh from Christ": "No, we shall not be saved by a formula but by a Person.
He warned that man "giving himself over to relativism and scepticism, goes off in search of an illusory freedom apart from truth itself". In Fides et Ratio On the Relationship between Faith and Reason John Paul promoted a renewed interest in philosophy and an autonomous pursuit of truth in theological matters.
Drawing on many different sources such as Thomism , he described the mutually supporting relationship between faith and reason , and emphasised that theologians should focus on that relationship. John Paul II wrote extensively about workers and the social doctrine of the Church, which he discussed in three encyclicals: Laborem exercens , Sollicitudo rei socialis , and Centesimus annus. Through his encyclicals and many Apostolic Letters and Exhortations, John Paul II talked about the dignity of women and the importance of the family for the future of humanity.
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Though critics accused him of inflexibility in explicitly re-asserting Catholic moral teachings against abortion and euthanasia that have been in place for well over a thousand years, he urged a more nuanced view of capital punishment. John Paul II was considered a conservative on doctrine and issues relating to human sexual reproduction and the ordination of women. While he was visiting the United States in , the year before becoming pope, Wojtyla said: "All human life, from the moments of conception and through all subsequent stages, is sacred.
A series of lectures given by John Paul II during his Wednesday audiences in Rome between September and November were later compiled and published as a single work titled Theology of the Body , an extended meditation on human sexuality. He extended it to the condemnation of abortion, euthanasia and virtually all capital punishment ,  calling them all a part of a struggle between a " culture of life " and a "culture of death". Pope John Paul II, who was present and very influential at the —65 Second Vatican Council , affirmed the teachings of that Council and did much to implement them.
Nevertheless, his critics often wished that he would embrace the so-called "progressive" agenda that some hoped would evolve as a result of the Council.
In fact, the Council did not advocate "progressive" changes in these areas; for example, they still condemned abortion as an unspeakable crime.