The Prolife Witness of St. John Paul II’s Parents

“I thought I knew everything about Karol Wojtyla, St. John Paul II. I did my doctoral work on his theology,” said Msgr. Start Swetland, host of Go Ask Your FatherTM on Relevant Radio®. But even Msgr. Swetland was surprised to learn a new fact about the early life of St. John Paul II and the heroic virtue of his parents.

Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920, in Poland to Karol and Emilia Wojtyla. It’s commonly-known that Emilia died when her one-day saint son was just a young boy, but did you know that her ailing health prompted doctors to recommend that she put her life ahead of her unborn son’s?

Emilia and her son, Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II)
Emilia and her son, Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II)

“I knew that her health was delicate, but I did not know that it was so delicate and there were some complications in the pregnancy … that doctors had recommended to her that she terminate the pregnancy,” explained Msgr. Swetland.

This shocking fact was revealed in a book published recently in Poland about the saint’s early life. Several witnesses have testified to the fact that this is true.

“Of course, being a devout Catholic, knowing the right and holy thing to do, she did not and the rest, as we say, is history,” said Msgr. Swetland. “You can see how Satan works—Satan would have loved to kill the future saint in the womb, if he could have gotten away with it and inspire people to do those kind of things.”

It gives you goosebumps, doesn’t it… knowing that 100 years ago, parents were counseled by their doctors to kill such a holy and influential man before he was even born? Thanks be to God, Emilia and Karol Wojtyla Sr. made the good and holy decision to give their son the gift of life, setting aside their own health and fears to bring a future saint into the world.

Their prolife witness is a stunning example of how trust and faith are rewarded by God. The cause for canonization of St. John Paul II’s parents has recently been opened. Servants of God Emilia and Karol Wojtyla, pray for us!

Lindsey Kettner serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a wife, mother, and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she studied journalism and advertising. She writes daily at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.