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In the Steps of the Pope
It’s about a five minute’s stroll down Kanonicza Street, through the greenery gardens, and there in front of you, is the building. It’s the house where Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who became Pope John Paul II (now of blessed memory) lived, before his elevation to become Pope of the Catholic church in 1978. Also referred to as the Bishop’s Palace, Wojtyla, moved here in August 1944 as a student of the Krakow Archdiocese Seminary, before his ordination to the priesthood in November 1946.
For many Poles, walking past this courtyard may no longer mean so much, but for Your Pal, being the first time in Poland, it was a must-see, especially having been acquainted with the 1981 attempted murder of the Pope by Mehmet Ali Agce, and indeed, the famous photo of the Pope waving and blessing Faithfuls of the Catholic faith.
Above the stately entrance in the yellow-hued facade is the famous window from where the Pope would wave and give blessings even as he welcome the youth of Krakow whenever he visited the city during his papacy. The palace courtyard contains a statue of him, a gift of the artist Jole Sensi Croci presented in May 1980.
Housed in the palace is the Archdiocesan Museum, which is also centered around the building's illustrious former resident. It also includes a collection of gifts presented to him by international dignitaries, as well as sacral paintings and sculpture dating to the 13th Century.
His papacy, which is the third longest, ended April 2, 2005, after his death. He was just a month away from celebrating his 85th birthday. For weeks following his demise, the square in front of the Palace was filled with flowers, memorials and people praying for the peace of his soul.
- Your Pal
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