Inside the Vatican:
National Geographic Television Special
Airs in the U.S. on the National Geographic Channel
Page four of eleven
Photo Gallery of John Paul II: Go>>
Careful observers of the Vatican might notice a recurring image thereit's a man in a small blue car that frequently darts in and out of the gates, slipping past the guards with only a wave. His face is his entrance pass and it is familiar to all. He is Arturo Mari, the pope's photographer.
For the past 45 years, he has covered almost every aspect of papal life.
"I think that this job must be done because one has a belief," Arturo told National Geographic Television. "Before the work, you have a beliefa veneration towards the person with whom you are working. The Holy Father John Paul II transmits with his personality this love in me for my work."
If the Vatican is defined by the personalities within it, then no one defines it more than Pope John Paul II. Arturo's coverage, whether on one of the pope's international trips or on one of his endless days in the Vatican, provides comprehensive proof.
"On a typical day, by 6:50 a.m., I am already in the Holy Father's apartment. The first ceremony is the Mass, which the Holy Father does every morning After the Mass, the Holy Father receives the guests who attended, personalities, bishops, cardinals, people, everyone, everyone in this, he never has any time.
"Free time does not exist for the pope. This is the realityprayer, work, work, prayer. Here, this is the life of the pope."
Source: Excerpt from Inside the Vatican, a National Geographic Television special that airs in the United States on the National Geographic Channel and is available as a book.
John Paul II
Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920, into a modest family in the south of Poland.
His father, a retired army officer, brought home a small pension; his mother died when he was a little boy.
Karol attended Polish public schools and excelled at his studiesand also at football, canoeing, and swimming.
At Jagiellonian University in Kraków he took part in dramatics, wrote poetry, and served as an altar boy.
He was assisting the parish priest on September 1, 1939, when the first Nazi planes came. "I served Mass to the sound of bombs and antiaircraft guns," he later recalled.
He decided to become a priest, and when the Nazi occupation forbade seminaries, he studied in an underground school sponsored by the church. To support himself, he worked as a laborer in a limestone quarry and later a factory, reading books on theology beside a boiler.
He was ordained in 1946, the same year that his first volume of poems was published under the pen name Andrzej Jawien.
During the years of Russian occupation, he was sent to Rome and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, known as the Anegelicum.
Appointed archbishop of Kraków by Paul VI, he proved himself an astute diplomat in dealing with the Communist government and was named a cardinal in 1967.
Vatican II brought him international attention and eventually wide travels. In the conclave of 1978, his fellow cardinals elected him pope.
Excerpted from the National Geographic Book: Inside the Vatican.
Inside the Vatican: Front Page
St. Peter's Basilica
The Swiss Guards
The Pope's Day
The World's Most Beautiful Stuff
The Holy See
Electing a New Pope
The Secret Archives
The Making of Inside the Vatican
Kids Activity Guide
|© 1996-2008 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.|