St. John Paul II


Pope St. John Paul II, by birth Karol Józef Wojtyła, was born in Wadowice, Poland, on May 18, 1920. Elected the 264th successor of St. Peter on October 16, 1978, he was the first non-Italian pope since Adrian VI (1522-1523), a span of 455 years. His pontificate of 26 years and 5½ months was the second longest pontificate in history after that of Bl. Pius IX (1846-1878).