That morning in the cathedral I was overtaken by a great emotion. In a moment I was going to become a minister of Divine mysteries! My life was going to be changed. Forever! I clearly realized that, when I felt that two hands were resting on my head. (…) I felt these two hands, and the heat which they were passing. But, how could I imagine that this Bishop will once be the Pope?
Stanisław Dziwisz met Karol Wojtyła when he enrolled into the seminary at the age of eighteen. He was a professor of ethics and already then, he impressed him when he saw him for the first time. From older seminarians he learned a bit about his past: he lost his mother and brother at young age and he lost his father when he was twenty years old. He performed as an actor, he was also a poet, and after the invasion of the Nazi army he began to work in quarries to avoid concentration camp. Father Wojtyła never spoke about it. But, if he accidentally had to mention the war, one could see in his eyes that he had the memory of that terrible time period, of many Jews who died in battles or lost their lives in Nazi concentration camps.
Priest Wojtyła was a man of great culture and knowledge. I soon realized this. He was able to explain every question well, using words that were simple, understandable, even when he touched the subjects of the mist, such as the philosophical concepts that were supposed to introduce us into the area of moral theology. He was not only an interesting professor but was characterized by a profound inner and spiritual life. He also fascinated us with his attitude toward others, his open mind, his goodness. There was no distance between the lecturer – intellectualist and students. If one of us had some problems or if somebody was asking questions, he always had a lot of patience to explain everything clearly, but also in a very natural and spontaneous way, to help the student understand and get the knowledge. Already then, we knew that he has congenital respect to man. To every man.
At the permission of Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz – “At the side of the Saint”
St. Stanislaus BM Publisher, Kraków 2013