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    Habemus papam ('We have a pope') – Today is the 44th anniversary of the election of Karol Wojtyła to the See of Peter

    Today is the 44th anniversary of the election of Karol Wojtyła to the See of Peter. Card. Wojtyła was elected Pope on 16.10.1978 at 5.15 pm in the 7th round of voting. He took the name John Paul II. He was the 264th Pope. His 27-year pontificate was one of the longest in history.

    On 16 October 1978, the Archbishop of Cracow, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła was elected as Pope and took the name John Paul II.

    ‘Man connects his deeper human identity with belonging to the nation, and he also understands his work as a multiplication of the common good worked out by his countrymen, realizing that this work is used to multiply the achievements of the whole human family, all people living in the world’ The Encyclical of John Paul II, ‚Laborem exercens’, 14 September 1981. 

    October 16 was established as an official celebration by the Polish Parliament on 27 July 2005 – as stated in the resolution – “a tribute to the greatest authority of the twentieth century, a man who reached into the sources of Christianity, taught us solidarity, courage and humility”. 

    In the Polish Church, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła remained in the shadow of the Primate of the Millennium. In the universal Church, however, he was recognizable and enjoyed great popularity. This was confirmed by the conclave after the sudden death of Pope John Paul I, in October 1978. In the eighth vote, the cardinal from Cracow received 99 votes out of a possible 111. ‘If they choose you, please do not say no.’ ‘The Primate of the Millennium helped me so much,’ the Pope remembered the words of the Cardinal during the closed conclave, ‘I could answer the question posed after the election: I accept’. On 16 October after the words of Cardinal Perricle Felici ‘Habemus Papam’, Karol Wojtyła, taking the name of John Paul II, appeared–as the first non-Italian Pope since 1522– on the balcony of the Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican. He immediately established good contact with a large crowd of the faithful. For the first time in many decades, Poland and its Catholic nation once again became a topic of interest for the whole world. 

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