Skip navigation

JOHN PAUL II: HIS LIFE AT A GLANCE

May 18, 1920 Karol Wojtyla born in Wadowice, Poland

April 13, 1929 His mother, Emilia Kaczorowska dies

Dec. 5, 1932 His elder brother, Edmund, dies

August, 1938 Moves to Krakow with his father, Karol Sr., so that the young Karol can enter the Jagiellonian University

Sept. 1, 1939 The Nazis invade Poland, Wojtyla and a friend are in the middle of the bombing of Krakow.

September, 1940 Goes to work in a limestone quarry to avoid the Nazi roundups and deportation.

Feb. 18, 1941 Karol Sr. dies of a heart attack

May, 1942 Gestapo arrests Wojtyla and others. His worker's card saves him. The others are shot at Auschwitz.

October, 1942 Enters a secret seminary to study for the priesthood.

Nov. 1, 1946 Cardinal Adam Sapieha ordains Wojtyla a priest. Two weeks later, Wojtyla leaves to study at the Angelicum, the Dominican university in Rome

July 8, 1948 Assigned to a poor parish near Krakow.

September, 1954 Begins teaching ethics at Lublin University.

Sept. 28, 1958 Becomes auxiliary bishop of Krakow.

March 8, 1964 Installed formally as archbishop of Krakow.

June 26, 1967 Inducted into the College of Cardinals.

Oct. 16, 1978 Elected pope. Takes the name John Paul II.

Jan. 25, 1979 Starts his first papal trip - to Mexico.

March 4, 1979 Issues his first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, on redemption and human dignity.

Jan 2, 1979 Starts his first papal visit to Poland.

Oct. 1-7,1979 Makes his first papal visit to the United States, addressing the United Nations.

May 13, 1981 In front of St. Peter's, Mehmet Ali Agca shoots John Paul, narrowly missing his aorta.

May 29, 1982 Advances ecumenism by praying at Canterbury Cathedral with Archbishop Robert Runcie.

Dec. 27, 1983 Meets in prison with Mehmet Ali Agca and forgives him.

Sept. 9-20, 1984 Pastoral visit to Canada

April 13, 1986 Becomes the first pope to pray in Rome's main synagogue.

Sept. 10-20, 1987 Second papal visit to the United States, with a stop at Fort Simpson, NWT.

Dec. 1, 1989 Welcomes Mikhail Gorbachev to the Vatican and becomes first pope to meet with the top Soviet leader.

July 15, 1992 Doctors remove a precancerous tumor from his colon.

Aug. 9-15, 1993 Visits Denver for World Youth Day.

Nov. 11, 1993 Dislocates his shoulder in a fall.

April 28, 1994 Doctors replace his hip after he slips in the bathtub.

May, 1995 Issues his 12th encyclical, Ut Unum Sint, on Christian unity.

Oct. 4-9, 1995 Tours U.S. northeast.

April 12-13, 1997 Visits war-torn Sarajevo.

Jan 21-26, 1998 Visits Cuba and talks of the importance of human rights.

Dec. 31, 1999 Blessing of the passage into the year 2000 at St. Peter's Basilica broadcast worldwide.

March 20-26, 2000 Makes a historic visit to the Holy Land, which he calls the "coronation" of his papacy.

May 6, 2001 In Damascus, becomes the first pope to visit a mosque.

July 23-29, 2002 Visits Canada for the third time for World Youth Day celebrations.

Feb. 9, 2003 Sends peace envoys to meet with Saddam Hussein and, later, George W. Bush in an attempt to avert war in Iraq.

Sept. 4, 2004 In his first meeting with Canada's new ambassador to the Vatican, urges the Canadian government not to legalize same-sex marriage.

Feb. 24, 2005 After being in hospital twice for respiratory problems, he has a breathing tube inserted in his throat.

Mar. 22, 2005 His final book, Memory and Identity: Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium, is published.

Mar. 27, 2005 Easter Sunday, he appears at his window on St. Peter's Square but is unable to speak.

(Tuesday, April 5, 2005)

Recommend this article? 0 votes

Back to top