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

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Overview

This intimate, affectionate portrait of Pope John Paul II by his long-time secretary and confidant reveals fascinating new details about the opinions, hopes, fears, and dramatic life of this public man.

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 ...

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Life with Karol: My Forty-Year Friendship with the Man Who Became Pope

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Overview

This intimate, affectionate portrait of Pope John Paul II by his long-time secretary and confidant reveals fascinating new details about the opinions, hopes, fears, and dramatic life of this public man.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
On May 13, 1981, when Paul John Paul II was shot and nearly killed, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz was sitting beside him. Cardinal Dziwisz was also with the pontiff as the events of September 11, 2001, unfolded before their eyes. Indeed, he and the former Karol Józef Wojtyla had a long history of friendship, stretching back almost 40 years. In A Life with Karol, the faithful private secretary of John Paul writes candidly about a beloved personal friend and revered pope who left a deep imprint on the church and on the world. A unique, touching firsthand account of the first Polish pope.
Publishers Weekly

Pope John Paul II's personal secretary, who is now Cardinal Dziwisz, had an insider's view of many of the events that shaped John Paul II's pontificate. Dziwisz was a seminary student in Krakow when he first encountered the man then known as Karol Wojtyla. He later became a close and trusted ally of the pope for four decades. The author does not hide his glowing opinion of the deceased pontiff; as he describes it, John Paul II stood courageously against the oppressive Communist regime in his native Poland, supported the nascent Solidarity movement and was beloved by people of all nations and religions around the globe. These two men enjoyed an intimate friendship and shared a love for Catholicism and their priesthood. Perhaps it is the closeness of that friendship that prevents Dziwisz from criticizing John Paul II for anything he did as pope. For example, his claim that "John Paul II's entire pontificate was a continual implementation of Vatican II" is widely debated. Despite the hagiographical tone, one thing is clear-John Paul II was a formidable world figure in the latter half of the 20th century, and he never allowed his position to affect his ability to be a good friend. (Mar. 11)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

As secretary for 40 years to Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), Cardinal Dziwisz was privy to many of his thoughts and actions. This memorable account colorfully describes thoughts and stories that offer a firsthand glimpse into the pope's life and his papacy. While it is not a substitute for Wojtyla's own writings, its richly artistic canvas offers a context that makes it easier to appreciate biographies such as Witness to Hopeor comprehensive summaries like John Paul II For Dummies. Rich in emotional and psychological detail, this book well covers the Polish and the papal years. Not concerned with critics of his life or thought, Wojtyla is portrayed as a man with depth, sincerity, and a sense of mystery. Recommended for public libraries of all sizes; libraries with a limited budget and seeking to add two or three central works that convey a timeless sense of the man would do well to add this title.
—Leroy Hommerding

From the Publisher
"Memorable.... Richly artistic." —-Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385523745
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 350,332
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author


Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz was personal secretary to Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) in Krakow and in Rome.

Norman Dietz, a writer, an actor, and a solo performer, has recorded over 150 audiobooks, many of which have earned him awards from AudioFile magazine, the ALA, and Publishers Weekly. Additionally, AudioFile named Norman one of the Best Voices of the Century.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Farewell to a Beloved Face     ix
Narrator's Preface: The "Mystery" of John Paul II     xi
The Polish Years
The First Meeting     3
New Men     9
Turning Point: Vatican II     15
The Millennium Crisis     21
Wyszynski and Wojtyla     27
The Cross of Nowa Huta     33
"How Could I Fail to Speak Out?"     39
Dissent Explodes     45
Rebel Youth     50
"A Slav Will Be Pope"     56
The Papal Years
"Open the Doors to Christ"     69
A Journey to Anticlerical Mexico     74
A Typical Day in the Life of a Pope     80
A Sign of Change     90
Peter the Traveler     97
Rome's Own Bishop     108
Earthquake in the Empire     114
A Revolution of the People     122
Two Pistol Shots     130
But Who Armed the Killer?     137
A Whole Nation Behind Bars     143
Solidarity Lives!     150
A New Evangelization     157
Youth, Women, and the Ecclesial Movements     163
"God's Sister" Teresa     173
And the Wall Came Tumbling Down     179
No to Communism, Not Yes to Capitalism     187
The Global South     193
A New Adversary     200
The Spirit of Assisi     206
The New Martyrs     214
It Took Six Hands     223
John Paul II's Jewish Roots     231
Thou Shalt Not Kill in the Name of God     238
"Let Me Go Home to the Lord"     248
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2008

    true experiences of a friends faith and courage

    cardininal stanislaw dziwisz was a close friend and personal secretary to pope john paul the 11 for much of the holy fathers life. this is a wonderful insiders account of someone who knew this great man of God. I learned that pope john paul 11 seemed to care alot about others inspite of his suffering. even while he was hurting he wanted to bless the children that were near by and this best seller shows christians that they can endure suffering with the strong faith that God has given them. Pope John paul the 11 has given a great example for everyone to read in this book. this arthur has some exellent research and I have learned alot about this remarkable saint who has truly made a difference in the world. great gift idea for a friend or family member.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 26, 2012

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    Posted December 31, 2012

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