„It is with a son’s devotion that that I kiss the threshold of my family home.”
John Paul II
It is with a son’s devotion that that I kiss the threshold of my family home, giving thanks to the Providence of God for the gift of life given me by my parents, for the warmth of the family home, for the love of those closest to me.
John Paul II
Passing through the gate decorated with a metal screen, we find ourselves in the courtyard of the family jome of Karol Wojtyła. The house already existed in 1845. In 1919 Emilia and Karol Wojtyla, together with their son Edmund, moved into the first three rooms leading from the present entrance. The first room was the parlour, the second the bedroom and the third the kitchen. It was, in fact, in this second room, in the tiny bedroom, that on 18.05.1920 Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, was born.
„You are (Christ) the Messiah,
Son of the Living God” (Mt. 16, 16)
This mystery was taught me by my mother’s hands, who, putting my child’s palms together in prayer, showed me how to make the sign of the cross, the sign of Christ...
Between 1926-30 Karol Wojtyla attended the four year elementary school housed in the present town hall building next to the church. At the age of 9 he experiences his first family tragedy – the death of his mother Emilia. Between 1930-38 Karol, at the time known as Lolek, attended high school. On 4.12.1932, when Karol was just 12 years old, a second tragedy befalls him – his brother dies of scarlet fever.
In 1938 both Karols, the father, pensioned from the 12th Infantry Regiment with the rank of Lieutenant, and the son, move to Krakow. After passing his maturation cerfiticate Lolek begins Polish studies at university, which he interrupts after the first year and enters the „underground” theology faculty during the occupation.
After finishing his studies in a shorter time he says his inaugural mass in the private chapel of Cardinal Adam Sapieha, which he then repeats in the church in Wadowice. Later he returns to Wadowice many times as bishop, archbishop and cardinal. The day of the 16th October 1978 arrived, out of nowhere, joyfully rang out the bells from the Wadowice bell tower of the church in Wadowice announcing the joyous news to the townsfolk – our countryman, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, was elected Pope. His old high schoolteacher, Father Dr. Edward Zacher, parish priest of Wadowice, greeted his distinguished pupil with a voice trembling with emotion:
„I make a joyous announcement to you.
We have a Pope...”
“You have come to your own people, to Bethany, to the Fatherland, to your home and your countrymen, to the memories of your youthful years, which were so beautiful.”
Father Dr. Edward Zacher, wanting to commemorate the earliest period of the life of his pupil, the present Pope John Paul II, made efforts to transform the house in which John Paul II was born into a permanent exhibition: „The Family Home of John Paul II”. His efforts were supported by by the Metropolitan of Krakow, Cardinal Franciszek Macharski who, during the opening of the exhibition on 18.05.1984, entrusted the care of the house to the Order of the Sisters of Nazareth saying:
lAs the Sisters of Nazareth took care of the little Lolek in kindergarten, so let them now take care of his home”.
The exhibition comprises two basic parts. The first part is made up of family photographs of Karol Wojtyla followed by photographs of his priesthood.
The second part of the exhibition is made up of personal keepsakes, books, medals cast in honour of the Holy Father. Among these are found four cassocks reflecting the various positions held by Karol Wojtyla, poems, plays and theological works, which were created by his pen. He was passionate about mountain walking, canoeing, skiing. We experience the breath of the breeze from the lakes, the rustle of the mountain wind creating a sense of freedom when we look at the oars, the skis, the thick socks with the initials K.W
Tłumaczenie Krystyna Lenik
Tekst z książki przewodnika "Moje Miasto Wadowice" autor Janusz Jędrygas przewodnik Beskidzki, Tatrzański, Terenowy, Instruktor Przewodnictwa