This heroic story follows the life of Karol Wojtyla, a Polish Roman catholic who ascends the throne of St. Peter as Pope John Paul II. As a young boy, Karol is a bright and talented student. Archbishop Sapieha recognizes the very special, moving qualities Karol possesses and encourages him to consider the priesthood. Although determined to study Polish literature, Karol turns to the church; he is ordained and studies in Italy, France, and Belgium. Torn by fear and repression in post-Stalin Eastern Europe, Karol becomes a poisonous thorn in the communists' side. His deer reverence and commitment return him to Poland as Pope John Paul II.