18 May - Karol Józef Wojtyła was born in Wadowice in the home of Karol Wojtyła senior and his wife, Emilia whose family was Kaczorowski.
1920 20 June - The child is baptised in the Basilica of Offertory of Holy Mary in Wadowice.
1938 - Having passed his baccalaureate exam, Karol leaves for Kraków to begin Polish Classical studies at the Philosophy Department of Jagielloński University.
1941 Autumn - The opening of the Rhapsodic Theatre.
1943 - Karol Wojtyła enters the secret Metropolitan Seminary for Priests in Kraków. He studies theology in Jagielloński University in Kraków.
1946 1 November - Adam Stefan Ks. Sapieha ordains Karol Wojtyła as priest.
1949 March - He is invested as priest in the parish church of St. Florian in Kraków.
1958 28 October - Karol Wojtyła becomes Bishop of Kraków.
1963 30 December - Karol Wojtyła becomes Archbishop of Metropolitan Kraków.
1967 - Pope Paul VI accords Karol Wojtyła the title of Cardinal.
1969-1974 - Cardinal Wojtyła participates in the Bishops Synod in Rome.
1978 16 October - Karol Wojtyła is elected the 264 th Pope of Rome. He takes the name of John Paul II. His Pontificate will last 27 years in which time he conducts 104 official pilgrims including 8 to Poland.
2005 2 April - In his apartments in Rome at 21.37hrs, Pope John Paul II dies.
2005 28 June - The beatification of Pope John Paul II commences with a ceremony in Rome in the Lateran Basilica.
Kraków - Kalwaria Zebrzydowska – Wadowice - Kraków (about 110 km)
Planning of your trip
By car: Leave Kraków in the direction of Zakopane (E7). After about 20 km turn right, direction Bielsko-Biała (Route 52). 10 km further on is Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. Enter the town and follow the signs up the hill to the „Klasztor Bernardynów”. To the left off this sanctuary there is a large parking place. When you leave go back the same way down the hill and turn left onto route 52 (direction Wadowice, Bielsko-Biała) for 10 km to Wadowice. In Wadowice follow the signs „Centrum” to Pope John Paul II square. Find a parking place in the streets nearby or follow the parking signs. When you leave follow the same route back to Kraków.
„... It all started here in this town, in Wadowice, everything. Life started, and school started, studies started, and the theatre started, and the priesthood started”. John Paul II, Wadowice, 16 June 1999.
The John Paul II family house. The house where on the 18 May 1920 Karol Józef Wojtyła was born is now a museum in which many items can be seen which are connected with the childhood, youth and priest's work of the Polish Pope. The Museum was opened on the 18 May 1984 on the 64th birthday of Pope. It is situated on the first floor in the apartment of the Wojtyła family. There are childhood and school photographs and the work of Karol Wojtyła as Vicar, Bishop, Cardinal and as the Pope. There are also some objects from the family house and personal items such as his skis, backpack, and hat. Visits, except Monday, IX - TUE, SUN 09.00-13.00, 14.00-18.00, X - TUE, SUN 09.00-12.00, 13.00-16.00 , entry with shoe covers. Photo and video not permitted. Free entrance though a small donation is welcome.
Basilica of Offertory of Holy Mary in Wadowice
The earliest information concerning this church goes back to 1325. In 1440 fire destroyed the wooden church and a brick one was built (the presbytery comes from this epoch). Another fire (18 May 1726) destroyed the church and a late Baroque style church was built in its place. At the end of XIXc there were some changes in the church facade giving it a Neo Baroque form. In 1945 a bomb destroyed the church. On 25 March 1992 Pope John Paul II inaugurated the church as a Minor Basilica. In one of the chapels of The Sainted Family there is a stone Baroque baptistery with golden cover where on 20 June 1920 Karol Wojtyła was baptized. In the left side nave chapel (behind the black bars) you will find the miraculous painting of the Holy Mother of Continuous Help, blessed by the Pope on the 16 June 1999. This miraculous painting has beenvenerated for more than 100 years. The young Karol Wojtyła prayed here everyday on his way to school. On the church wall there is a sun clock which the Pope talked about when he visited Wadowice on the 16 June 1999: „…and when I looked through the window of my house I could see the sun clock and its inscription TIME IS RUNNING OUT AND ETERNITY IS WAITING...”.
In 2005 the date, 2nd April 2005, was inscribed on the surface of the clock.
„And if there is something I want to make you eager to do, is that you do not stop visiting this sanctuary”.
John Paul II, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
, 7 June 1979.
The miraculous painting of the Holy Mother was placed in this Calvary sanctuary in 1641. Crowds of pilgrims began to visit this holy place and it became the second most important pilgrimage destination to the Holy Mother in Poland after Jasna Góra in Częstochowa. The sanctuary consists of the Basilica complex, the Bernadine Convent and more than 40 chapels spread across the hills which create the Calvary route. There are two routes: Jesus the Lord and the Route of the Mother of God. Pilgrims walk them and stop and pray at the chapels that indicate the moments of Christ's suffering on the Way of the Cross or other religious events from the New Testament. This is the oldest and largest Calvary in Poland. It was built in the XVIIc by Mikołaj Zebrzydowski - the voivod of Kraków. Almost a million pilgrims visit it every year. The Sanctuary and the park with the Way of the Cross were placed on the UNESCO list (1 December 1999). You will need 3-4 hours to see everything here.