Full name Karol Wojtyla – Pope John Paul II was born 18th May 1920, in Poland, Karol Wojtyla was brought up in a turbulent period. As a young man, he lived through the brutal Nazi occupation of Poland. He witnessed many atrocities and on occasions narrowly avoided with his life. It was during the war that he made the decision to train to be a priest; this had to be done clandestinely. During the war, he was also credited with trying to help Jewish friends escape persecution. Pope John Paul II was one of the most memorable Pope’s in the modern age. He lived through the centuries most turbulent times and offered a clear moral stance and direction to the Catholic Church. He also played an important role in the transition from Communism to greater democracy in Eastern Europe.