Timeline Pope John Paul II

1920 (May 18)            Young Karol Wojtyla is born
1928                            His Mother dies.
1938                            Begins University
1939 (Sept. 1)             Hitler invades Poland. Wojtyla’s studies end.
1941                            Wojtyla’s father dies and he decides to enter priesthood.
1946                            Wojtyla is ordained into priesthood.
1958                            Pope Pius XII appoints Wojtyla as auxiliary bishop of Krakow.
1963                            Pope Pius XII names Wojtyla Archbishop of Krakow
1967                            Wojtyla is made a cardinal.
1978 (Oct. 22)            Wojtyla is installed as Pope John Paul II
1981                            Pope is shot by a 23-year-old Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Acga.
1989                            President Gorbachev is the first Soviet premier to visit the Vatican
1995                            Gives mass for 3 million people in the Philippines – the largest gathering for one person in history
1996:                        Vatican issues new rule book for papal conclave, requiring technicians to sweep Sistine Chapel for bugs and banning 
                                      cell phones.

1996                         Celebrates 50th anniversary as priest, urges struggling priests to stay true to church.

1996                          Autobiography, Gift and Mystery, published, tracing Pope’s journey to priesthood during the Second World War and
                                    reflections as prelate.

1997:                        Vatican establishes diplomatic relations with Libya, overriding US objections. Also visits Beirut, Lebanon, and urges
                                  Christians and Muslims to make peace in war-battered country.

1998:                        Vatican issues ‘We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah (Holocaust),’ expressing remorse for cowardice of some
                                   Christians during the Second World War, but defending actions of wartime Pope Pius XII.

1998                           Visits Cuba for first time. Cuba announces it will release dozens of prisoners in first concrete result of papal visit.
2000                            His visit to the Holy Land is his 91st trip abroad.

2005                          April 2nd Pope dies at the age of 84 after 24 year reign as Pontiff.


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