Beatification process of John Paul II’s parents begins

Beatification tribunals are to convene on Thursday in the Papal Basilica Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Wadowice, southern Poland, in order to initiate the beatification processes of Emilia and Karol Wojtyła – the parents of Polish Pope John Paul II.

Conducted by the first tribunal judge and Kraków metropolitan archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, the convention will be followed by a mass for the success of the beatification and intercession for the cause of Karol and Emilia Wojtyła. The event will be live-streamed by the Kraków archdioceses.

The goal of the beatification process is to prove that Karol and Emilia Wojtyła “enshrined virtues in a heroic way, that they enjoy the opinion of sanctity and that via their intercession people implore the grace of God,” the Kraków archdiocese wrote.

“There is no doubt that the spiritual comport of the future Pope and saint was formed in his family thanks to the faith of his parents. Emila and Karol Wojtyła could become an example for contemporary families to follow. They could become strong and a clear example,” wrote Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz.

A venerated father, a heroic mother

Milena Kindziuk of the Cardinal Wyszyński University (UKSW) in Warsaw, the author of the book entitled “Emilia and Karol Wojtyła. Parents of Saint John Paul II”, to premiere on May 18 on the 100th anniversary of John Paul II’s birthday, told Polish Radio that the main witness to the lives of the Pope’s parents was the Pope himself.

“An exceptional bond kept him and his father close,” said Ms Kindziuk, adding that “he used to recall him, saying that his boyhood and teenage years were marked first and foremost by the figure of his father whom he venerated as a wonderful human being.”

The researcher said that the future Pope many a time saw his father “a strong army man rise up in the night to pray.”

Regarding Emilia Wojtyła, her heroic comport can very well be perceived as an example of motherly determination. Despite her poor health condition and suggestions that she should abort her child, future Pope John Paul II, for the sake of her health, she decided to give birth to the baby nonetheless.

Emilia Wojtyła died when Karol Wojtyła Junior, future Pope John Paul II, was only nine-year-old. His father, Karol Wojtyła Senior, died in 1941 in Nazi-German-occupied Kraków. The crypt of the Wojtyła family can be found at the military part of the Rakowiecki Cemetery in Kraków.

The postulator, meaning the person who pleads for a candidate for beatification, of Emilia and Karol Wojtyła is Father Sławomir Oder. He also was the postulator at the beatification and canonisation process of John Paul II.