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John Paul II

CTS Children’s Books


Contents From Southern Poland........................... 3

Young at heart........................................ 16

An ordinary family ................................ 4

Into the third millennium..................... 18

The young Karol..................................... 6

Santo Subito!........................................... 20

Towards the Priesthood......................... 8

Thoughts of John Paul II .......................... 21

In a silent Church .................................. 10 A Pope consecrated to Mary.................. 12

An image of John Paul II....................... 23

Do not be afraid!................................... 14

A Prayer................................................... 24

Text by Elena Pascoletti Illustrations by Giusy Capizzi Translated by Pierpaolo Finaldi

John Paul II: Published 2012 by The Incorporated Catholic Truth Society, 40-46 Harleyford Road, London SE11 5AY. Tel: 020 7640 0042; Fax: 020 7640 0046; www.cts-online.org.uk. Copyright © 2012 The Incorporated Catholic Truth Society in this English-language edition.

ISBN: 978 1 86082 801 0 CTS Code CH 41 Translated from the original Italian Edition Giovanni Paolo II - ISBN 978-88-6124-263-0, published by Il Pozzo di Giacobbe, Libreria Editrice, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 32/34, 91100 Trapani (TP), Italy © 2011 Crispino di Girolamo.


FROM SOUTHERN POLAND

T

he story of John Paul II began in a small town in the South of Poland called Wadowice (vah-doh-vitz-eh). This little town nestles between beautiful forests, open countryside, the Carpathian mountains and the ancient capital of Poland: Krakow. In the early 20th century it was a lively town with schools and libraries where many young people from the surrounding area went to study, but it was not a very peaceful place. It was near the border with Poland’s powerful neighbour, Russia, and in the recent past, the Polish army had fought hard to win Poland her freedom.

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AN ORDINARY FAMILY

O

n the evening of the 18th May 1920, Emilia gave birth

to a little boy and called him Karol Jozef Wojtyla. He had an older brother called Edmund who was 13 years older and a little sister called Olga who sadly died shortly after being born. Karol’s family came from a humble background. His father was a tailor who made clothes, but everybody called him ‘Captain’ because for many years he had been in the Polish army. Karol was a lively and intelligent boy and brought a lot of joy and happiness to his family especially to his mother who was often frail and sick. She loved him dearly and called him by a special nickname: ‘Lolek’.

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From an early age Karol was a bright student and a good sportsman. He loved playing football with his brother Edmund and was the goalkeeper of the local team.

He had the grace of growing up in a simple family that was full of faith in God. In his family he learned the great importance of prayer, of following the Gospel and of entrusting everything to Mary the Mother of God.

5


THE YOUNG KAROL

K

arol was only 9 when his mother’s illness got worse and she died. He was left with

only his Father and brother. Edmund left home to study at the university in Krakow to become a doctor, but after only three years he caught a serious illness from one of the patients he looked after and died. Karol and his father were very sad and were left all alone but did not get discouraged. They prayed all the time and Karol’s father found the strength to dedicate himself to raising his last remaining son and helping him in his studies.

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Karol became friends with a Jewish family who lived nearby. They were one of many Jewish families who lived in Wadowice and lots of Jewish boys went to school with Karol. He grew up with a great love and respect for them. One day Karol saw one of his Jewish friends being treated badly by an old Catholic lady in the town. Karol turned to his friend and asked: “don’t people know that we are all children of the same God?” All these things that happened to Karol made him a very mature and responsible boy. He was serious and had a lot to think about, but was also lively and loved poetry and acting in plays at the theatre. He loved to be surrounded by nature and often went for outings, walking in the mountains and forests or swimming in the freezing lakes or canoeing on the rivers. He continued to do these things for his whole life.

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AN IMAGE OF JOHN PAUL II

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A PRAYER

We thank you O god for having given Pope John Paul II to the Church and for showing us, through him, the tenderness of your fatherly care and the splendour of your love. Through his intercession send your blessing on us all, on our parents and family and friends.

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John Paul II  
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