Karol Wojtyła’s sneakers
Among the memorabilia of John Paul II held in the museums in Małopolska items related to sport and hiking make up a large group. These are, among others: skis, mountain boots, as well as the presented inconspicuous sneakers. It seems that Karol Wojtyła particularly liked this light type of footwear. It is associated with an anecdote which says that on the 4th of July 1958, the future Pope summoned by Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, interrupted his kayaking trip and went to the curia, where he stood before the cardinal... in old, torn up sneakers. As it turned out, the Primate of the Millennium called Wojtyła to give him a letter from Pope Pius II, who appointed Karol Wojtyła as the auxiliary bishop of Kraków. However, these were not the sneakers kept in the museum of Holy Father John Paul II Family Home in Wadowice. These are the shoes of the Italian company Superga and they were made after 1962 at the earliest. At that time, the brand’s logo was changed to the one that can be seen on the soles of the shoes. It may be inferred that the young bishop Wojtyła bought this pair of sneakers in Italy – perhaps in 1967 when he was appointed as a cardinal, or in 1976 when he was invited by Pope Paul VI to lead the retreat in Rome. In 1958, Karol Wojtyła probably still wore cheap Polish sneakers.
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