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Pope John Paul II 1920- is said to be the most recognized person in the world He is the most traveled Pope in the 2000 year history of the Church and speaks eight languages Born Karol Joseph Wojtyla pronounced Voy-tee-wah in Wadowice Poland on May 18 1920 to an administrative officer in the Polish army and a former schoolteacher In 1978 at the age of 58 the College of Cardinals elected him to lead the Roman Catholic Church He was the first non-italian chosen as Pope in 456 years and the youngest in this century At age 61 he suffered serious wounds during an assassination attempt His life in brief 1920 - Born in Poland on May 18 1946 - Ordained a priest 1954 - Appointed professor of ethics at Catholic University of Lublin 1964 - Appointment as resident Archbishop of Krakow 1978 - Chosen by the College of Cardinals to lead the Roman Catholic Church THE FINE DETAILS OF HIS LIFE Karol Joseph Wojtyla pronounced Voy-tee-wah was born in Wadowice Poland on May 18 1920 to an administrative officer in the Polish army and a former schoolteacher As a young man Karol was athletic He enjoyed playing soccer as a goalie and took daredevil swims in a flooded Swaka River He also was an excellent student and he served as president of his school sodality Karol developed a love of theater and for a time it was his ambition to study literature and become a professional actor During the Nazi occupation Karol clandestinely pursued both his studies and his acting while working as a stonecutter to support himself and to hold the work permit he needed to avoid deportation or imprisonment Karol Wojtyla was active in the UNIA a Christian democratic underground organization Bnai Brith and other authorities have testified that he helped Jews find refuge from the Nazis While convalescing from
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