Pope John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland. He was ordained in 1946, became the bishop of Ombi in 1958, and became the archbishop of Krakow in 1964. He was made a cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1967, and in 1978 became the first non-Italian pope in more than 400 years. He was a vocal advocate for human rights visiting 129 countries and used his influence to effect political change. He died in Italy in 2005. It was announced in July of 2013 that he would be declared a saint in April of the following year.
The appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Aztec Indian Juan Diego in December of 1531 generated the conversion of Mexico and Latin America to Catholicism. Indeed, the Blessed Virgin Mary entered the very life stream of Central America and became an inextricable part of Mexican life and a central figure to the history of Mexico itself. The three most important religious celebrations in Central and South America are Christmas, Easter, and December 12, the feast-day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her appearance in the center of the American continents has contributed to the Virgin of Guadalupe being given the title "Mother of America."