Pope Karol Wojtyla, in his will, asked that his spiritual diaries be burned upon his death, but his secretary did not; instead, he presented them to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

Later, the notebooks were published in Polish, and then translated into several languages. I read the English edition.

The spiritual diaries range from 1962 to 2003, before and after Karol Wojtyla became a Pope.

Reading this book, I have been surprised that he attended the gatherings not as the supreme head of the Catholic Church, but as a simple participant. The retreats were led by others, usually a bishop or an archbishop, not by him! This shows how humble he was.

In his diaries, the word ‘meditation’ is recurrent. Obviously, during the spiritual retreats he meditated. I thought that the term ‘meditation’ only belonged to the Eastern religion. As a child, I learned that prayer was enough to get to heaven. Apparently, also Catholics meditate. I think Pope John Paul II meditated on the Bible, but who knows what was hidden in his great, noble, and humble heart!

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English edition)

– A Hidden Sicilian History (English edition)

– The Vibrations of Words (English edition)

– Travels of the Mind (English edition)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (edizione in lingua italiana)

– Viaggi della Mente (edizione in lingua italiana)


Pope John Paul II came to Sicily five times. During his visit on May 9, 1993, he excommunicated the Mafia. Standing in front of the Temple of Concord in Agrigento, he scolded the Mafiosi and angrily said: “I say to the leaders (of the Mafia): repent, because one day you will face the judgment of God.”

As if by a miracle, after the great Polish pope’s anathema against the mafia, there have been no more mafia massacres in Sicily. Of course, his words had an effect.

Now John Paul II is watching us from heaven. I feel he is scolding someone else now, admonishing the leaders of the world to end this useless slaughter and make peace prevail over war.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind