#1Feb 18th, 2009
Wanda Poltawska, 87, right, presents her book recollecting her family's relationship with late Pope John Paul II , during a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009. The book entitled "The Beskidy Mountains Recollections," recalls vacations with Karol Wojtyla and includes letters of spiritual guidance that he exchanged with her and her family, a correspondence that continued after he became pope. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
Polish woman publishes letters from late pontiff
23 hours ago
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish survivor of a Nazi concentration camp published a book Tuesday recollecting her family's relationship with Pope John Paul II, including letters from the late pontiff.
Wanda Poltawska, an 87-year-old psychiatrist, said the relationship started in the 1950s when she sought a priest for spiritual support in overcoming the trauma that she suffered during almost four years at the Ravensbrueck concentration camp.
That priest was Karol Wojtyla, who was elected pope in 1978.
Poltawska's 570-page book, "The Beskidy Mountains Recollections," recalls vacations with Wojtyla and includes letters of spiritual guidance he exchanged with her and her family — a correspondence that continued after he became pope.
In the letters, he also offered occasional comments on his papal encyclicals.
Poltawska said she told the pontiff of her experiences working with troubled families.
John Paul died in 2005. Moves toward his beatification and canonization began that year, as Pope Benedict XVI waived the five-year waiting period after a candidate's death.
Poltawska said that, in deciding to publish her book, she was "encouraged by other people who said that I must give this testimony of the life of a saint."
There are no immediate plans for foreign editions of the book.