The First Days of John Paul II’s Pontificate in Light of the Diaries of Jan Józef Szczepański and Andrzej Kijowski

Keywords: Andrzej Kijowski, Jan Józef Szczepański, diary, John Paul II


This paper investigates the strategies employed by Andrzej Kijowski and Jan Józef Szczepański in their Dzienniki (Diaries) as they describe the early days of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. While, clearly, the Pope is of great significance to both authors, there are considerable differences in their approaches towards him. Kijowski’s entries are completely subordinated to the event, whereas in Szczepański’s they seem to barely coexist with others. The former sees it primarily as a religious event, and the latter sets it in a historical context, while also noting the reactions within Polish society. The texts both underline the spiritual dimension of the event and emphasise the personal, emotional commitment of the authors. This article employs the comparative method in an attempt to present the emerging pontificate of Pope John Paul II as a personal experience.


Brandys, Marian. Dziennik 1978. Iskry, 1997.

Karpowicz, Agnieszka. Proza życia. Mowa, pismo, literatura. Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2012.

Kijowski, Andrzej. Dziennik 1978–1985. Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1999.

Lejeune, Philippe. Wariacje na temat pewnego paktu. O autobiografii. Universitas, 2001. Szczepański, Jan Józef. Dziennik, t. IV: 1973–1980, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2015.

Werner, Andrzej. Wysoko, nie na palcach. O pisarstwie Jana Józefa Szczepańskiego. Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2003.