Beatification Process Begins for Friend of Karol Wojtyla

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 1, 2001 ( The Archdiocese of Krakow might ask John Paul II to testify in the process of beatification of Jan Tyranowski, a Polish tailor who was a friend of the Pope during his university years.

Tyranowski, who in addition to being a tailor was an accountant and catechist, played a decisive role in the life of young Karol Wojtyla, a student of philology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. He died in 1947 at 46, shortly after Wojtyla, the future John Paul II, was ordained a priest.

Wojtyla met Tyranowski when the accountant was 40 and had left this profession to dedicate more time to the apostolate in a Salesian parish. During the Communist regime, Wojtyla and Tyranowski led the “living rosary” in secret for a group of 60 youths.

In his autobiography, “Gift and Mystery,” John Paul II recalls that Tyranowski started him reading the Spanish mystics, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. Eventually, Wojtyla wrote his doctoral thesis in Rome on St. John of the Cross.

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