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A Life with Karol: My Forty-Year Friendship with the Man Who Became Pope [Hardcover]

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Item Number 422071  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   260
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.36" Width: 5.86" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 4, 2008
Publisher   Doubleday Religion
ISBN  0385523742  
EAN  9780385523745  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
An affectionate portrait of Pope John Paul II by his longtime secretary and confidant describes their nearly forty-year relationship as he offers a firsthand account of the life of Karol Wojtyla, from the pope's haunted memories of World War II and his elevation to the papacy to his reaction's to 9/11, opposition to Bush's war on Iraq, and final illness. 30,000 first printing.

Publishers Description

This intimate, affectionate portrait of Pope John Paul II by his longtime secretary and confidant reveals fascinating new details about the opinions, hopes, fears, and dramatic life of this public man.
"I had accompanied him for almost forty years: twelve in Krakow and then twenty-seven in Rome. I was always with him, always at his side. Now, in the moment of death, he'd gone on alone. . . .And now? Who is accompanying him on the other side?"
--From "A Life with Karol"

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz worked side by side with Pope John Paul II for almost forty years, enjoying unique access to both the public and private man. In "A life with Karol," he provides a close-up glimpse into the Pope's life and the critical events of his papacy.
Dziwisz was sitting next to the Pope during the assassination attempt in 1981. He recounts the Pope's reaction to 9/11, describing his thoughts and feelings on that day. And the Cardinal's moving description of the Pope's haunting memories of World War II uncovers the roots of the pontiff's intense opposition to George W. Bush's war on Iraq.
The two men shared moments of fun and spontaneity as well. Dziwisz writes about the times the Pope would slip out of the Vatican, wearing a Panama hat, to stroll the streets of Rome, and he describes the clandestine ski and hiking trips the pair made to escape the Vatican. His firsthand account of the Pope's last years also reveals that John Paul II considered resigning. These stories and others lend added poignancy to Dziwisz's extraordinary portrayal of the Pope's courage and calmness during his final illness.

Buy A Life with Karol: My Forty-Year Friendship with the Man Who Became Pope by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz & Adrian J. Walker from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780385523745 & 0385523742

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CARDINAL STANISLAW DZIWISZ was personal secretary to Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) in Krakow and in Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1963, was appointed Archbishop of Krakow in 2005, and in 2006 was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.


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1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious   [0  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General   [5549  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Insights, But No Betrayal  Mar 14, 2010
Author Stanislaw Dziwisz served as personal secretary to Pope John Paul II from his days in Cracow until the end of His Holiness' life. Through book the reader is introduced to the man who we knew as Pope John Paul II. For 40 years, Cardinal Dziwisz got to know Karol Wojtyla intimately. "A Life with Karol" enables us to enter into that relationship.

I found this to be a very interesting read. Cardinal Dziwisz gives us insights in into what Pope John Paul did why he did it. We read of how he dealt with the Communist leadership in Poland, both as a bishop and as Pope, and how the Communist leadership viewed and dealt with him. We come to appreciate his close relationship with the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Wyszyñski , his approached the Liberation Theology in Latin America, his Papal support for freedom in Poland and the reasons for his opposition to the Gulf War. While the readers are brought into the Pope's thought process, there are no shocking revelations, no betrayal of confidences by this loyal servant of Karol. This is an orthodox history of which the subject would have likely approved. No follower of John Paul the Great will want to miss this valuable record.
Awsome insight to JPII  Jan 8, 2010
This book is an awsome insight to Pope John Paul II. It reveals the man, his passion, and his love. I am in awe of him anyway and this just made it more so. Wonderfully edited.
-----A wonderful view into the life of Pope John Paul II  Aug 6, 2009
This is a beautiful tribute to Pope John Paul II aka Karol Wojtyla. The book was written by Staislaw Dziwisz, his secretary who worked for the Pope for 40 years. The first part of the book covers the earlier years of the Pope's life, growing up and becoming a priest in Poland. As a youth and young man, his best friend was a Jewish boy who remained his friend for his entire life. In fact, he was so close to his friend's family that the bond lasted even after he became Pope.

Most of the book is about Pope John Paul's life in the Vatican and how he came to the decisions that he made as Pope. He was a strong man who enjoyed skiing and being out and about with people. When he left the Vatican, to pursue a day ski trip, he had to be very careful in order not to draw crowds and a mob scene. He would go with a small group, wear sunglasses and try to keep a low profile. That worked more than a few times, but eventually he was spotted by a child and had to be taken away very quickly.

The attempt to Kill Pope John Paul is also discussed in detail. He was shot twice. The first bullet went into his abdomen, colon and out through his intestines. It then lodged in the jeep. The second bullet hit the Pope in the elbow, hand and went on to wound two American women who were in the crowd. He suffered with pain for the rest of his life from the bullet wounds! He was hospitalized more than a few times. Mehmet Ali Agca, his would be killer, could not believe that he had not killed the Pope. His shots had been dead on! He never apologized for his awful deed.

There are so many interesting parts to this book. The Pope's chidhood and early life in occupied Poland, living under Communist rule, his rise in the Catholic Church and of course his wonderful trips as Pope. This book is well worth reading and it gave me a better understanding of Karol Wojtyla, the man!
Pope John Paul II in the Context of Travels and World Events  May 20, 2009
Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz excerpts several main features of the life and ministry of Pope John Paul 11. He also provides eyewitness accounts of such things as the shooting of the Pope in 1981 and the death of this Pope in 2005.

This book centers on the travels of Pope John Paul II. Dziwisz attributed the anti-clericalism of Mexico to the fact that many Mexican political and business officials are Masons. (p. 74).

Much has been said about how Poland's Communist government had blamed Jews for Poland's problems, leading to many of them leaving Poland in 1968, and notwithstanding the fact that Gomulka's wife was Jewish. (pp. 31-32). What is often forgotten is the fact that the Communist government also frequently blamed the Church for Poland's problems; even accusing it of lack of patriotism for forgiving the Germans. (pp. 22-23).

At times, Pope John Paul II had been accused of being soft on non-Communist authoritarian governments. This is untrue, as proved, for example, by the Papal visit with Augusto Pinochet of Chile. The Pope urged this leader to return power to the civil authorities, and later met with dissident Chilean politicians. (p. 104).

After the fall of Communism, Pope John Paul II identified secularism as the main danger to Christianity and Poland. (pp. 200-205). Four years after his death, his warning is timelier than ever.
Not What You Might Have Hoped For, But a Good Read Anyway  Jul 3, 2008
If you were hoping this book would give you a very personal look about Karol Wojtyla the man, you will be very disappointed. Stanislaw Dziwisz, Wojtyla's personal secretary for 40 years, discusses only John Paul II the pope.

Furthermore, only slightly more than half of this volume is in Dziwisz's own voice. The other half is written by the "narrator" - Gian Franco Svidercoschi - in "conversation" with Dziwisz. Svidercoschi doesn't bother to introduce himself in the book, but he worked on the 2005 TV movie, "Karol: A Man Who Became Pope," and a book that came out in 2007 entitled "Stories of Karol: The Unknown Life of John Paul II." Svidercoschi is billed as a "well-known Vatican observer" and comes from a Polish family.

I was privileged to meet Cardinal Dziwisz and hear him speak when he did a book-signing June 24, 2008 at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. At that time he confessed he was unhappy with the "overly familiar" and misleading title "A Life with Karol" and had preferred his own title of "Witness," which probably would have been more appropriate. But his editors, Dziwisz said, insisted their title would sell more books.

Disappointments notwithstanding, this book is worth adding to your collection. Dziwisz gives a beautiful, personal accounting of Wojtyla's last hours on earth. And he does a great job of explaining John Paul II's motivations for the unique conduct of his papacy and his responses to the criticisms he received. I found it riveting to the end.


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