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Stanislaw Dziwisz, John Paul the Second’s personal secretary, new archbishop of Krakow

2009-04-06

John Paul the Second’s personal secretary and closest aid has been appointed his successor as the archbishop of Krakow.His name is Stanislaw Dziwisz but in the Vatican he is known as Fr. Stanislaw.  Thirty-nine years ago his life changed forever when he became Karol Wojtyla’s personal secretary.

Paloma Gómez Borrero
Journalist

He has so many qualities that were indispensable for Karol Wojtyla.  And when they sent him Don Stanislaw, a collaboration began, which we saw all the time and, in the end we saw that they were never separated.

He was the only family that the Pope had.  They met when a young Stanislaw accompanied Wojtyla on a ski trip.  A few years later, the future Pope ordained him a priest and asked him to be his personal secretary.

Paloma Gómez Borrero
Journalist

...Shortly after finishing the seminary, this young priest, Stanislaw Dziwisz, was sent to him as a secretary.  From that moment on there was complete symbiosis.  For the Pope, Msgr. Dziwisz was a son, the loyalest of companions, and I believe that he was very important to John Paul the Second. 

His life took a turn when Karol Wojtyla became John Paul the Second…he too went to Rome as the new pope’s right hand man.  He would go on to accompany John Paul on 104 trips around the world.  And it was he who nursed the pope after an assassination attempt in 1981.  He was his guardian angel and his shadow.

Paloma Gómez Borrero
Journalist

He exercised extreme prudence and it makes sense.  The Pope’s secretary knows everything and could tell many stories…

In the later years, he was John Paul the Second’s closest confidante.  He helped him through his illness and was with him till the very end.  And John Paul the Second died while holding his hand.As archbishop of Krakow, it will be up to him proceed with the beatification process of Karol Wojtyla. 

Dsiwisz recently announced that he will not burn the personal notes of John Paul the Second, despite the wishes of the late pope. Poland waits for him with open arms.  The only thing he is sure to miss is visiting the tomb of his beloved Pope, who was a father and a friend.