John Paul II’s home southern Poland, where he was born in 1920, was
bought by one of Poland’s richest businessman, Ryszard Krauze, and
donated to the Catholic Church March 31.
The donation came two days before the first anniversary of the Polish pontiff’s death.
The owner of a software company bought the house in Wadowice from American Ron Balamuth, who had inherited it from his Polish-Jewish ancestors. The house will continue as a John Paul II museum, which attracts some 5,000 visitors a day.
The sale price was not disclosed, but when the house was put on the market last December, Polish media reports put the asking price at $1 million.
A Church foundation also took possession of the house where Pope Benedict XVI was born, with the intention of opening it to the public as a museum on his life. No date has been set for the opening
A church foundation agreed in December to buy the house in the Bavarian village of Marktl am Inn for an undisclosed sum, beating out a Saudi sheik. It was purchased from a German woman who complained that hordes of tourists were making her life unbearable.
The 1745 customs house became a police station before Joseph Ratzinger was born there on April 16, 1927. His father was the local police commander and lived in the building. The Ratzinger family lived there another two years before moving.