Published April 05, 2005
Key dates in the life of Pope John Paul II:
May 18, 1920: Karol Joseph Wojtyla born in Wadowice, Poland.
Nov. 1, 1946: Ordained as a priest.
Sept. 28, 1958: Consecrated as auxiliary bishop of Krakow.
March 8, 1964: Installed as bishop of Krakow.
June 28, 1967: Elevated to cardinal by Pope Paul VI.
Oct. 16, 1978: Elected pope by cardinals, first Pole ever and first non-Italian in 455 years.
Jan. 25, 1979: First trip abroad, to Dominican Republic, Mexico, Bahamas.
June 2, 1979: Goes to Poland for first time as pope, setting off sparks that help establish Solidarity, first independent labor movement in Soviet bloc.
May 13, 1981: Shot in abdomen by Turkish militant Mehmet Ali Agca in St. Peter's Square.
Sept. 15, 1982: Receives Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat at Vatican, provoking criticism from Israel and Jewish groups.
April 13, 1986: Makes historic visit to Rome's main synagogue.
Dec. 1, 1989: Meets Mikhail Gorbachev at Vatican, first ever meeting between a pope and a Kremlin chief.
May 1, 1991: Issues first encyclical on social issues since fall of communism in Europe, giving qualified approval to capitalism but warning rich against taking advantage of poor.
July 15, 1992: Operation for benign tumor on colon. Leaves hospital July 28.
Sept. 4-10, 1993: Visits former Soviet Union for first time, traveling to Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia.
Oct. 5, 1993: Issues encyclical "Splendor of Truth," his major statement on morality, cracking down on dissent.
Dec. 30, 1993: Agreement signed establishing formal ties between Israel and Vatican.
Oct. 19, 1994: Publishes his book, "Beyond the Threshold of Hope."
March 3, 1995: Issues encyclical "Gospel of Life," and condemns spreading "culture of death," including abortion, euthanasia, experimentation on human embryos.
March 10, 1997: Vatican establishes diplomatic relations with Libya, overriding U.S. objections.
Jan. 21-26, 1998: Visits Cuba for first time.
March 16, 1998: Vatican issues "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah," or Holocaust, expressing remorse for cowardice of some Christians during World War II but defending actions of wartime Pope Pius XII.
Oct. 19, 1998: Celebrates 20th anniversary as pope, asks for prayers to fulfill his mission "until the end."
Dec. 24, 1999: Ushers in Vatican millennium Jubilee year by opening Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica.
March 20-26, 2000: Makes first trip to Holy Land. In note left at Jerusalem's Western Wall, expresses sorrow for suffering of Jews at Christian hands.
Sept. 3, 2000: Beatifies much-attacked Pope Pius IX and much-loved Pope John XXIII in one of most disputed acts of papacy.
May 4, 2001: Becomes first pope to visit Greece since Schism of 1054; issues sweeping apology for "sins of action and omission" by Roman Catholics against Orthodox Christians.
April 23, 2002: Summons U.S. cardinals to discuss sex abuse scandal, tells them there is no place in priesthood for clerics who abuse young.
May 17, 2003: Cardinal, in newspaper interview, confirms pope has Parkinson's disease.
June 5-9, 2003: Makes 100th foreign trip, visiting Croatia.
July 31, 2003: Vatican launches global campaign against gay marriages.
Aug. 15, 2004: Breathes heavily and gasps during open-air Mass at Lourdes, France.
Feb. 1, 2005: Rushed to Rome hospital with flu and difficulties breathing.
March 30, 2005: Given nasal feeding tube.
March 31, 2005: Develops high fever brought on by urinary infection.
April 1, 2005: Vatican announces pope is in "very serious" condition after suffering heart failure.
April 2, 2005: Pope John Paul II dies at age 84.