Karol Józef Wojtyla risked his life to attend seminary secretly during the Nazi occupation of Poland. From 1940 to 1944, while studying nights in secret, he worked days as a messenger for a restaurant, and as a manual laborer in a limestone quarry and for the Solvay chemical factory. He also learned 12 languages, 9 of which he would use extensively during his time in the Vatican.
After ordination, he served 30 years as a Priest, Bishop, Archbishop and Cardinal under the domination of the atheistic regime of Soviet Communism. In 1978, he was elected pope, taking the name Pope John Paul II. Pope Francis will be canonizing him and Pope John XXIII on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014.