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A chronology of John Paul's life

A chronology of events in the life of the Pope

Globe and Mail Update

A chronology of events in the life of Pope John Paul:

May 18, 1920: Born Karol Joseph Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland.

June 20, 1920: Baptized by P. Franciszek Zak, a military chaplain.

Sept. 15, 1926: Starts elementary school for boys.

April 13, 1929: His mother dies.

June 1930: Admitted to Marcin Wadowita, state secondary school for boys.

Dec. 5, 1932: His brother Edmund dies.

1934-1938: Performs in student theatre in Wadowice.

May 1938: Receives the sacrament of confirmation.

June 22, 1938: Enrols in the philosophy faculty at Jagiellonian University, Krakow.

July 1939: Attends university military training for Polish and Ukrainian students.

Nov. 1, 1940: Earns a living as a stone cutter in a quarry near Krakow, forestalling deportation and imprisonment.

October 1942: Begins clandestine studies for the priesthood in Krakow's underground seminary; registers in the theology faculty at Jagiellonian University.

August 1943: Archbishop Adam Stefan Sapieha transfers him and other clandestine seminarians to the archbishop's residence. He remains there until the end of the war.

Nov. 1, 1946: Ordained a priest.

Nov. 2, 1946: Celebrates his first mass in the crypt of St. Leonard at Wavel, Poland.

Nov. 15, 1946: Leaves Poland to begin studies in Rome.

July 8, 1948: Sent as assistant pastor to Niegowic near Gdow, Poland.

August 1949: Recalled to Krakow to be assistant pastor at St. Florian's.

July 4, 1958: Appointed auxiliary bishop of Krakow.

Sept. 28, 1958: Ordained bishop in Wavel Cathedral.

October-December 1962: Participates in the first session of the Second Vatican Council.

October-December 1963: Participates in the second session of the Second Vatican Council.

March 8, 1964: Installed as metropolitan bishop of Krakow.

September-November 1964: Participates in the third session of the Second Vatican Council.

September-December 1965: Participates in fourth session and closing of the Second Vatican Council.

June 28, 1967: Consecrated cardinal in the Sistine Chapel by Pope Paul VI.

July-August 1969: Tours Canada.

July 23-Sept. 5, 1976: Visits the United States and Canada.

Aug. 11-12, 1978: Attends funeral of Pope Paul VI.

Oct. 3-4, 1978: Attends funeral of Pope John Paul I.

Oct. 16, 1978: Elected Pope by cardinals. He is the first Polish pope ever and the first non-Italian one in 455 years.

Jan. 25, 1979: First trip abroad as Pope, to Dominican Republic, Mexico, Bahamas.

June 2, 1979: First trip back to Poland as Pope.

Sept. 29, 1979: Travels to Ireland and United States.

May 13, 1981: Shot in abdomen by Turkish extremist in St. Peter's Square.

Sept. 9-20, 1984: First papal visit to Canada.

April 13, 1986: Makes historic visit to Rome's main synagogue.

Sept. 20, 1987: Makes a five-hour visit to Fort Simpson, N.W.T., during a U.S. trip to honour a promise he made when his 1984 visit to the hamlet was cancelled by fog.

Dec. 1, 1989: Meets with Mikhail Gorbachev at Vatican, first ever meeting between a pope and a Kremlin chief. Establishes diplomatic ties between Vatican and Russia.

May 1, 1991: Issues first encyclical on social issues since the fall of communism in Europe, giving qualified approval to capitalism but warning the rich against exploiting the poor.

July 15, 1992: Operation for benign tumour on colon.

Oct. 31, 1992: Formally declares the church erred in condemning Galileo.

Oct. 5, 1993: Issues encyclical Splendour of Truth, major statement defending absolute morals against liberal theologians.

Nov. 11, 1993: Dislocates right shoulder in fall down steps at Vatican event, requiring surgery.

Dec. 30, 1993: Agreement signed establishing formal ties between Vatican and Israel.

April 29, 1994: Breaks leg in fall and undergoes hip replacement surgery.

Oct. 19, 1994: His book, Beyond the Threshold of Hope, is published.

Oct. 8, 1996: Surgery to remove appendix.

March 1, 1999: Vatican confirms that the Pope has waived the five-year waiting period and begun beatification process for Mother Teresa.

March 20-26, 2000: Makes first trip as Pope to Holy Land, expresses sorrow for suffering of Jews at Christian hands in note left at Jerusalem's Western Wall.

Sept. 11, 2001: Condemns "unspeakable horror" of Sept. 11 attacks.

April 23, 2002: Meets with U.S. cardinals to discuss sex abuse scandal; says there is no place in priesthood for clerics who abuse young.

July 23-29, 2002: Visits Toronto to preside over World Youth Day, a gathering of hundreds of thousands of Catholics from around the world.

Feb. 14, 2003: Receives Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz on eve of war.

June 5-9, 2003: Makes 100th foreign trip, visiting Croatia.

July 31, 2003: Vatican launches global campaign against gay marriages.

Feb. 1, 2005: Pope urgently hospitalized with breathing problems.

Feb. 10, 2005: Discharged from hospital.

Feb. 23, 2005: His fifth book, Memory and Identity, is released in Italy.

Feb. 24, 2005: Rushed back to hospital with flu-like symptoms, undergoes operation to insert a tube in his throat to relieve breathing problems.

March 13, 2005: Discharged from hospital, hours after his first public appearance since Feb. 24.

March 27, 2005: Appears in public on Easter. Tries to speak but fails.

March 30, 2005: Vatican says a feeding tube has been inserted in John Paul's nose to help him recover his strength.

April 2, 2005: John Paul II passes away.

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