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The first Pole to become Pope. Born in Wadowice on 18 May 1920. In 1938, he studied Polish philology at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. In 1941, he started studying theology, and on 1 November 1946 was ordained as a priest. In 1958, he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Cracow. He taught at the Catholic University of Lublin. In 1978, Karol Wojtyła was elected Pope and assumed the name John Paul II. The Pope died on 2 April 2005. The Honorary Citizenship was conferred by Resolution No 471/XLVII/97 of the City Council in Lublin of 24 April 1997. The Act conferring the Honorary Citizenship: The City Council of Lublin is honoured to confer on His Holiness John Paul II the title of Honorary Citizen of the City of Lublin. This Act is an expression of our deepest gratitude and high recognition of the merits of the First Pole in supporting various activities and initiatives promoting common interests. We thank the Holy Father for being among us in the years of his professorial work at the Catholic University of Lublin and for his present support from St. Peter’s Throne in developing and popularising this unique University, for instance by granting the John Paul II Institute the rights to publish his extraordinary book Crossing the Threshold of Hope. We are grateful for the gift of valuable medical equipment for Lublin hospitals. Above all, we express our gratitude for the efforts aimed at unifying the Church and strengthening world peace, values that should be passed on to future generations. In Lublin, where two Christian cultures have clashed, Latin and Byzantine, “Like the two lungs of the East and the West with which Christ’s Church must breathe”, more than anywhere else do the words of Peter of the 20th century calling for unity gain strength. What can be its artistic symbol is the invaluable monument of art – the Trinity Chapel of Lublin Castle. All our history is also marked with meetings of those cultural circles, which the Holy Father referred to while in Lublin: “This city has its historical significance (...) the whole historical process of a meeting between the West and the East (...) The Nation is living its whole history. And the Church is also within the Nation. The process is still going on. May we be able to truly, authentically and creatively continue this great heritage at this place of Europe! And of the World!” The papal call for peace was more meaningful than anywhere else in Lublin – a city of crematorium smoke which once carried into the world the ashes of the martyrs of Majdanek – today, a Memorial and a warning against extermination, death and all kind of enslavement. The Holy Father also spoke the words to be kept in mind by everyone and forever: “Peace is the fruit of a new heart”, and “service to life serves the liberation of man”. These words create an obligation. By conferring the Honorary Citizenship of the City of Lublin, we express our sincere gratitude to His Holiness Pope John Paul II for everything he has done and said, convey our best wishes for the forthcoming hard years of apostolic service for the benefit of the Church, Poland and the World.

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