Son of Poland and patron of World Youth Day, Saint John Paul II was Pope for 26 years. Born Karol Wojtyla in the town of Wadowice, not far from Krakow, he came of age during the Nazi occupation of Poland, eventually becoming a priest (and ordained in secret in the palace of the Archbishop of Krakow). After WWII, Fr. Wojtyla became known for his work with young adults, despite Communist oppression, and soon became a bishop, then archbishop, and cardinal in the 1950s and 1960s. He was an active participant in the Second Vatican Council and was elected pope in October 1978. As pope, he traveled more and met more people than any of his predecessors in the Chair of Peter. In 1984, he inaugurated an annual gathering of youth and young adults – which would become World Youth Day. He died in April 2005, and was canonized (alongside Pope John XXIII) in Rome in April 2014. He is the father and patron saint of World Youth Day.