Sainthood causes open for St John Paul II’s parents

Emilia and Karol Wojtyła Sr with their eldest child, Edmund (CNA/Krakow Archdiocese)

The sainthood causes of St John Paul II’s parents, Karol and Emilia Wojtyła, were formally opened in Poland yesterday. Source: CNA.

A ceremony launching the causes of the Wojtyłas took place at the Basilica of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Wadowice, John Paul II’s birthplace.

At the ceremony, the Kraków Archdiocese officially formed the tribunals that will seek evidence that the Polish pope’s parents lived lives of heroic virtue, enjoy a reputation for holiness and are regarded as intercessors.

After the tribunals’ first session, Kraków Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski presided at a Mass, which was broadcast via livestream amid Poland’s coronavirus lockdown.

Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, who served as St John Paul II’s personal secretary, attended the ceremony.

He said: “I want to testify here, at this point, in the presence of the archbishop and the assembled priests, that as a long-standing secretary of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła and Pope John Paul II, I heard from him many times that he had holy parents.”

Fr Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, spokesman for the Polish bishops’ conference, said CNA: “The processes of beatification of Karol and Emilia Wojtyła ... testify above all to the appreciation of the family and its great role in shaping the holy and great man -- the Polish pope.”

Karol Wojtyła, an army officer, and Emilia, a school teacher, were married in Kraków in 1906. They had three children. The first, Edmund, was born that year. He became a doctor but caught scarlet fever from a patient and died in 1932. Their second child, Olga, died shortly after birth in 1916. Their youngest, Karol junior, was born in 1920, after Emilia refused a doctor’s advice to have an abortion because of her frail health.

Emilia died on April 13, 1929, shortly before Karol junior’s ninth birthday, of myocarditis and renal failure. Karol senior died on February 18, 1941, in Kraków amid the Nazi occupation of Poland.


St John Paul II’s parents’ sainthood cause has officially opened (CNA

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