Pope John Paul II’s Life in Kraków, Poland

Karol Józef Wojtyła was born in Wadowice, Poland in 1920. He attended Jagiellonian University in Kraków until the school was closed by the Nazis in 1939. After struggling to survive during WWII, he began studying for the priesthood at a clandestine seminary in Bishop’s Palace. He narrowly escaped the German roundup of 8,000 young men during Black Sunday in 1944. After the city was liberated, he and other students restored this pre-war seminary. He was ordained in 1946, taught for a while at Jagiellonian University, became Auxiliary Bishop of Kraków in 1958 and Pope John Paul II twenty years later. This 1902 building across from Wawel Cathedral is the Major Seminary of the Archdiocese of Crakow.

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Podzamcze 8, 31-003 Kraków, Poland

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