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Overview of Blessed Pope John Pauls Pontificate: 1999-2003

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VATICAN CITY, OCT 10, 2003 (VIS) - We conclude our overview of Pope John Paul's pontificate with a review of the highlights from 1999 through October 15, 2003:

JANUARY 1999:

  • Friday, 8: Audience for Massimo D'Alema, president of Italy's Council of Ministers.
  • Friday, 15: Audience for Pandeli Majko, president of Council of Ministers of Albania.
  • Monday, 18: Visit by President Leonel Fernandez Reyna of the Dominican Republic. Start of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
  • Friday, 22: John Paul II leaves on 85th foreign pastoral visit: Mexico City, Mexico and St. Louis, U.S.A. to close Synod for America. Pope signs and dates Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in America." Presents it to bishops the following day.
  • Tuesday, 26: Pope John Paul and U.S. President Bill Clinton meet upon Pope's arrival in St. Louis, U.S.A. Presentation of new rite of exorcism of the Roman Book of Rites (from Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments).

FEBRUARY 1999:

  • Thursday, 4: Holy See and Israel sign "Legal Personality Agreement."
  • Monday, 8: New Hungarian Ambassador, Pal Tar, presents Letters of Credence. Holy See Press Office issues final report on 1998 Swiss Guard deaths.
  • Thursday, 11: 70th anniversary of founding of Vatican City State.
  • Friday, 12: Pope and bishops of Laos, Cambodia meet together for first time. Bishops are in Rome for "ad limina" visit.
  • Friday, 19: Audience to Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority.
  • Saturday, 20: Pope receives Jason C. Hu, foreign affairs minister of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

MARCH 1999:

  • Monday, 1: Announcement that Pope has given permission to start the cause of beatification for Mother Teresa of Calcutta, dispensing from norm which states that five years must pass between person's death and start of cause.
  • Thursday, 11: Audience for Seyyed Mohammad Khatami: first visit by a president of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Pope John Paul.
  • Saturday, 20: Visit by president of Colombia, Andres Pastrana-Arango.
  • Thursday, 25: Pope receives President Robert Kotcharian of Armenia, and Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong of Singapore in separate audiences. Holy See statement on NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, which began last evening.
  • Monday, 29: Pope and Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro meet.
  • Tuesday, 30: High level Vatican meeting studies Kosovo crisis: includes ambassadors to Holy See from NATO member countries and permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

APRIL 1999:

  • Thursday, 1: Statement on today's mission to Belgrade by Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, secretary for Relations with States.
  • Sunday, 4: Easter. Pope writes Letter to Artists: published on April 23 in eight languages.
  • Sunday, 18: Papal Letter to His Holiness Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, on the occasion of the latter's trip to Belgrade to find peaceful solution to Kosovo conflict.
  • Thursday, 22: Pope welcomes President Alvaro Arzu Irigoyen of Guatemala.
  • Monday, 26: Visit by Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon.
  • Tuesday, 27: Pope writes U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on eve of Annan's departure for Europe to seek peace in Yugoslavia.
  • Thursday, 29: Holy See and Cook Islands establish diplomatic ties.

MAY 1999:

  • Sunday, 2: Capuchin Padre Pio of Pietrelcina is beatified.
  • Friday, 7: Pope departs for three-day trip to Romania: 86th foreign apostolic trip. Includes meeting with Orthodox Patriarch Teoctist. Pope participates in Orthodox liturgy, and Patriarch in Catholic liturgy.
  • Monday, 10: Pope welcomes Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova. Rugova holds press conference in Holy See Press Office.
  • Tuesday, 18: John Paul II turns 79. He welcomes German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
  • Sunday, 23: Pentecost. Three priests ordained in Russia, the first in 82 years.
  • Sunday, 30: Pope travels to Ancona, 135th trip within Italy.

JUNE 1999:

  • Thursday, 3: John Paul II receives U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.
  • Saturday, 5: Pope leaves for Poland, his 87th foreign pastoral trip. Until June 17.
  • Friday, 11: Warsaw, Poland: Pope's first ever address to a national parliament.
  • Wednesday, 30: Holy Father's Letter on "Pilgrimages to the Places Linked to the History of Salvation."

JULY 1999:

  • Thursday, 8: Note is published by Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts on the authentic interpretation of canons dealing with care of Eucharist.
  • Monday, 19: Diplomatic Relations with the Lesser Antilles.

AUGUST 1999:

  • Saturday and Sunday, 7, 8: Cardinal Angelo Sodano represents Pope John Paul at the closing celebrations of the European Youth Meeting, being held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain from August 4-8.

SEPTEMBER 1999:

  • Saturday, 4: One-day apostolic trip to Salerno, Italy: Pope John Paul's 136th such trip within Italy.
  • Sunday, 5: Audience at Castelgandolfo with Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian National Authority.
  • Monday, 13: Audiences to Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, apostolic administrator of Dili, East Timor, and Prime Minister Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili of Lesotho.
  • Thursday, 16: Pope receives President Guido de Marco of the Republic of Malta.
  • Saturday, 18: Pope receives King Abdullah Bin Hussein of Jordan.
  • Sunday, 19: One-day apostolic trip to Slovenia: the Pope's 88th foreign pastoral trip.
  • Thursday, 30: Audience for Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, president of Venezuela. Holy Father blesses newly restored facade of St. Peter's Basilica in an early evening ceremony, accompanied by fireworks, in St. Peter's Square.

OCTOBER 1999:

  • Friday, 1: A concelebrated Mass in St. Peter's Basilica opens the Second Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops. During the Mass, Pope John Paul proclaims St. Edith Stein (Benedicta of the Cross), St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Catherine of Siena co-patronesses of Europe.
  • Friday , 15: Holy Father's annual Message for World Food Day, on the theme "Young People Against Hunger."
  • Saturday, 16: John Paul II marks the 21st anniversary of his election as Pope. His pontificate is the 10th longest in history (St. Peter's is considered the longest).
  • Tuesday, 19: Official visit by Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. Also, an announcement that a joint team of Catholic and Jewish scholars will be formed to review published volumes of Church archival material covering the World War II period.
  • Friday, 22: Final message of European Synod of Bishops.
  • Saturday, 23: Closing Mass for Second Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops.
  • Tuesday, 26: Publication of "The Letter of His Holiness John Paul II to the Elderly."
  • Thursday, 28: Pope receives Franjo Tudjman, president of Croatia, and Croatia's foreign affairs minister, Mate Granic.
  • Friday, 29: Pope grants audience to President Rudolf Schuster of Slovakia, and Slovakia's foreign affairs minister, Eduard Kukan. Holy Father and world's religious leaders gather in St. Peter's Square at conclusion of Inter-religious assembly in the Vatican.
  • Sunday, 31: Joint Declaration on the Doctrine Justification signed in Augsburg, Germany by Catholic Church and World Lutheran Federation.

NOVEMBER 1999:

  • Thursday, 4: Cardinal Cassidy attends enthronement of new Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II.
  • Friday, 5: Pope leaves for five-day trip to India and Republic of Georgia on his 89th foreign pastoral visit. The Latin, Greek-Orthodox and Armenian patriarchs of Jerusalem announce that Holy Land shrines will be closed November 22 and 23 to express disapproval of the building of a mosque near the basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth.
  • Saturday, 6: John Paul II signs Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Asia" in New Delhi.
  • Saturday, 13: Audience to King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.
  • Monday, 15: Visit by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of the Republic of Algeria.
  • Friday, 19: Pope receives Fernando Henrique Cardoso, president of Brazil.
  • Monday, 22: Audiences to Carlos Saul Menem, president of Argentina, and Sheikh Hamad Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, emir of Bahrain.
  • Tuesday, 23: Audiences to Martti Ahtisaari, president of Finland, and Jordan Sokolov, president of the Bulgarian parliament.

DECEMBER 1999:

  • Friday, 10: Publication of papal Message to Catholics in China for the Jubilee Year.
  • Saturday, 11: John Paul II inaugurates completely restored Sistine Chapel.
  • Monday, 13: Audiences to president of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki, and to His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX, patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians.
  • Saturday, 18: Audience to Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech Republic.
  • Monday, 20: Promulgation of decrees by Congregation for the Causes of Saints: includes Popes Pius IX and John XXIII among those who will be beatified.
  • Friday, 24: Pope John Paul II opens Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica, to start the Jubilee Year 2000. Presides at the celebration of Christmas Midnight Mass.
  • Saturday, 25: Christmas Day "Urbi et Orbi" Message and Blessing. Pope opens the Holy Door at the patriarchal basilica of St. John Lateran.
  • Friday, 31: Vespers and traditional end-of-the-year "Te deum" of thanksgiving in St. Peter's Basilica. At midnight Pope appears at his window and wishes the crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square a Happy New Year, new millennium and Jubilee year. He imparts his "Urbi et Orbi" blessing. .../HIGHLGHTS 1999/... VIS 20000128 (1130)

JANUARY 2000:

  • Saturday, 1: 33rd World Day of Peace. Pope John Paul opens Holy Door at St. Mary Major Basilica and celebrates Mass.
  • Sunday, 2: Jubilee of Children: 150,000 children and adolescents join the Holy Father in St. Peter's Square.
  • Wednesday, 12: Diplomatic relations established with the State of Bahrain.
  • Monday, 17: Pope welcomes Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque.
  • Tuesday, 18: Start of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Holy Father opens fourth and final Holy Door of the Jubilee Year 2000 at St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls.
  • Monday, 24: Costa Rica's President Miguel Angel Rodriguez is received in audience.

FEBRUARY 2000:

  • Wednesday, 2: Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Jubilee of Consecrated Life: papal Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Square.
  • Saturday, 5: Pope receives Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid.
  • Friday, 11: Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Jubilee of the Sick: Mass in St. Peter's Square.
  • Tuesday, 15: Basic Agreement is signed between Holy See and Palestinian Liberation Organization. Holy Father receives Yasser Arafat and Palestinian delegation in audience. He also received Rudolf Schuster, president of the Slovak Republic.
  • Thursday, 17: Audience for Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, president of the Republic of Chile.
  • Friday, 18: Jubilee of Artists: Mass in St. Peter's Basilica presided over by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, followed by address by Pope John Paul. Inauguration of three-day Jubilee of Permanent Deacons by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos at St. Mary Major Basilica.
  • Saturday, 19: Audience for Roberto Flores Facusse, president of Honduras.
  • Monday, 21: Audience for Arpad Goncz, president of Hungary.
  • Tuesday, 22: Jubilee of the Roman Curia, and papal Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.
  • Wednesday, 23: Liturgy of the Word celebration in the Paul VI Hall, presided over by Pope John Paul in commemoration of Abraham, "Our father in the faith." This event in the Vatican represented the first stage in the Pope's Jubilee Year pilgrimages to places linked with the history of salvation.
  • Thursday, 24 - Saturday, 26: Papal pilgrimage to Mount Sinai: John Paul II is first Pope to visit Egypt. This was his 90th foreign apostolic trip.
  • Tuesday, 29: Audience for King Letsie III of Lesotho.

MARCH 2000:

  • Thursday, 2: Papal audience for Salim El Hoss, prime minister and foreign minister of Lebanon.
  • Saturday, 4: Pope welcomes President Kim Dae-jung of the Republic of Korea, first Korean head of state to be received by John Paul II. He also received President Valdas Adamkus of Lithuania.
  • Sunday, 12: First Sunday of Lent. Concelebrated Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for the Day of Pardon of the Holy Year 2000.
  • Friday, 17: Publication by the Pontifical Council for the Family of a communique concerning the March 16 European Parliament resolution that equates families with "de facto" unions.
  • Saturday, 18: The Jubilee of the Chaldean Church with a liturgy in the basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs.
  • Sunday, 19: Jubilee of Artisans, Mass in St. Peter's Square. Jubilee of the Syro-Malabar Church with a liturgy in the basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs.
  • Monday, 20: Sunday, 26: Start of week-long papal pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Pope John Paul's 91st foreign apostolic trip.
  • Thursday, 30: Presentation of Holy Father's annual Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday: Letter was signed on March 23 in the Cenacle in Jerusalem.

APRIL 2000:

  • Thursday, 6: Audience for President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen.
  • Friday, 7: Audiences for Joseph Fischer, foreign minister of Germany, Jan Carnogursky, justice minister of Slovakia and Pavol Hrusovsky, vice president of Slovak parliament and Kofi Annan, United Nations secretary general.
  • Sunday, 30: Second Sunday of Easter, henceforth to be known as Divine Mercy Sunday: Canonization of Blessed Maria Faustyna Kowalska.

MAY 2000:

  • Monday, 1: Jubilee of Workers celebrated at Tor Vergata University.
  • Tuesday, 2: Audience for Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek.
  • Saturday, 6: Adolf Ogi, president of Switzerland, received by Pope.
  • Sunday, 7: Pope presides ecumenical celebration at the Colosseum for Witnesses to the Faith in the 20th Century.
  • Friday, 12: Pope departs for Fatima, Portugal on his 92nd foreign apostolic trip.
  • Saturday, 13: Beatification in Fatima of the two shepherd children, Jacinta and Francisco Marto. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of state, reads a text on the "Third Secret" of Fatima at the shrine, following the beatifications.
  • Thursday, 18: Pope John Paul's 80th birthday and the Jubilee of Priests: concelebrated Mass in St. Peter's Square with 80 cardinals, 300 archbishops and bishops and 6,000 priests.
  • Saturday, 20: Diplomatic relations established between Holy See and Djibouti.
  • Monday, 22: Audiences for Boris Trajkowski, president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Nadejda Mihailova, Bulgarian foreign minister.
  • Friday, 26: Audience with Ismael Omar Guelleh, president of the Republic of Djibouti.
  • Sunday, 28: Jubilee of the diocese of Rome: papal Mass in St. Peter's Square.
  • Monday, 29: Pope receives President Denis Sassou-N'Guesso of the Congo, and Romanian Foreign Minister Petre Roman.

JUNE 2000:

  • Friday, 2: Papal Mass in St. Peter's Square for Jubilee of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.
  • Monday, 5: Audience for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Saturday, 10: Vigil of Pentecost. Papal Mass in St. Peter's Square for the Jubilee "Day of Reflection and Prayer on the Duties of Catholics Towards Other Men: Announcing Christ, Witnessing and Dialogue."
  • Tuesday, 13: Ali Agca, who attacked the Pope in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981, and has been in prison in Italy since then, is granted clemency by Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, and extradited to his native Turkey.
  • Thursday, 15: Pope hosts lunch in Paul VI Hall for 200 poor and homeless as part of Jubilee year celebrations.
  • Monday, 19: Audience for Said Musa, prime minister of Belize.
  • Friday, 23: Audience for Fra Andrew Bertie, prince and grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
  • Monday, 26: Presentation of Third Secret of Fatima in Holy See Press Office. Papal audiences for Hugo Banzer Suarez, president of Bolivia; Atal Bihari Vajpayee, prime minister of India; His Royal Highness, Prince of Asturias, Felipe de Bourbon.
  • Tuesday, 27: Audiences for Ghennadi Nikolaevich Selezniov, president of the Duma (Russian parliament), and Mikhail Sergeevic Gorbachev. Cardinal Angelo Sodano welcomes Hang-mao Tien, minister for foreign affairs of the Republic of China.

JULY 2000:

  • Monday, 3: Audience for Hipolito Mejia, president-elect of the Dominican Republic.
  • Tuesday, 4: Audience for President Stipe Mesic of Croatia.
  • Thursday, 6: Declaration published by Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts which reaffirms ban on communion for divorced Catholics who re-marry.
  • Saturday, 8: Audience for His Royal Highness, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg.
  • Sunday, 9: Jubilee in Prisons. Pope says Mass in Rome's Regina Coeli prison.
  • Thursday, 13: Pontifical Council for the Family publishes declaration on embryo reduction, stating that this constitutes "selective abortion."
  • Thursday, 20: Apostolic Letter of the Holy Father John Paul II for the Third Centenary of the Union of the Greek-Catholic Church of Romania with the Church of Rome.

AUGUST 2000:

  • Tuesday, 15: Pope opens 15th World Youth Day in Rome.
  • Saturday, 19, and Sunday 20: Vigil and papal Mass close the 15th World Youth Day in presence of more than 2 million young people. Pope announces that 2002 youth day will be in Toronto, Canada.
  • Thursday, 24: Declaration from Pontifical Academy for Life on production and scientific and therapeutic use of human embryonic stem cells.
  • Tuesday, 29: Pope declares at a congress that human cloning is morally unacceptable.

SEPTEMBER 2000:/p>

  • Sunday, 3: Pope beatifies Popes Pius IX and John XXIII, Bishop Tommaso Reggio, Fr. Guillaume-Joseph Chaminade and Abbot Columba Marmion.
  • Tuesday, 5: Presentation of document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "Declaration 'Dominus Iesus' on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church."
  • Sunday, 10: Mass for Jubilee of Universities.
  • Monday, 11: Audience for Mireya Elisa Moscoso Rodriguez, president of the Republic of Panama.
  • Tuesday, 12. Olusegun Obasanjo, president of Nigeria, welcomed.
  • Thursday, 14: Cardinal Roger Etchegaray on third trip to China: visits Beijing September 14-16 to participate in symposium on "Religions and Peace." Pope welcomes Andrej Bajuk, prime minister of the Republic of Slovenia.
  • Friday, 15: Jubilee of Pontifical Representatives: Mass with Cardinal Sodano and audience with Pope John Paul.
  • Saturday, 16: Holy See and Lithuania sign Accords.
  • Sunday, 17: Jubilee of the Elderly, Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter's Square.
  • Friday, 22: Pope welcomes Hungarian President Ferenc Madl.
  • Sunday, 24: Mass for 20th International Mariological-Marian Congress and for Jubilee of Shrines.

OCTOBER 2000:

  • Sunday, 1: Pope canonizes 123 Blesseds, including 120 Chinese martyrs. He assures Catholic faithful in China of his prayers.
  • Friday, 6; Pope receives Emil Constantinescu, president of Romania. Bishops, at start of their Jubilee, collect $49,000 to give to Pope.
  • Saturday, 7: For Jubilee of Bishops. Pope, bishops, and faithful pray the rosary in St. Peter's Square before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, brought to the Vatican from Portugal.
  • Sunday, 8: Papal Mass concludes Jubilee of Bishops, attended by 80 cardinals and over 1,500 bishops. Act of Entrustment to Mary.
  • Friday, 13: Audience for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, vice president of the Philippines.
  • Saturday, 14: Start of Jubilee of Families: 300,000 gather for afternoon celebration with John Paul II. Pope receives President Gustavo Noboa Bejarano of Ecuador.
  • Sunday, 15: Mass for Jubilee of Families. Pope marries 8 couples.
  • Tuesday, 17: Pope John Paul's pontificate becomes 7th longest in history, including that of St. Peter. Holy Father welcomes Queen Elizabeth II to Vatican.
  • Thursday, 19: Jubilee of Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
  • Sunday, 22: Mass for World Mission Day and the Jubilee of Missions.
  • Sunday, 29: Mass in Rome's Olympic Stadium for Jubilee of Athletes.
  • Tuesday, 31: Apostolic Letter in form of 'Motu Proprio' proclaiming St. Thomas More as Patron Saint of Statesmen and Politicians.

OCTOBER 2000:

  • Sunday, 1: Pope canonizes 123 Blesseds, including 120 Chinese martyrs. He assures Catholic faithful in China of his prayers.
  • Friday, 6; Pope receives Emil Constantinescu, president of Romania. Bishops, at start of their Jubilee, collect $49,000 to give to Pope.
  • Saturday, 7: For Jubilee of Bishops. Pope, bishops, and faithful pray the rosary in St. Peter's Square before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, brought to the Vatican from Portugal.
  • Sunday, 8: Papal Mass concludes Jubilee of Bishops, attended by 80 cardinals and over 1,500 bishops. Act of Entrustment to Mary.
  • Friday, 13: Audience for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, vice president of the Philippines.
  • Saturday, 14: Start of Jubilee of Families: 300,000 gather for afternoon celebration with John Paul II. Pope receives President Gustavo Noboa Bejarano of Ecuador.
  • Sunday, 15: Mass for Jubilee of Families. Pope marries 8 couples.
  • Tuesday, 17: Pope John Paul's pontificate becomes 7th longest in history, including that of St. Peter. Holy Father welcomes Queen Elizabeth II to Vatican.
  • Thursday, 19: Jubilee of Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
  • Sunday, 22: Mass for World Mission Day and the Jubilee of Missions.
  • Sunday, 29: Mass in Rome's Olympic Stadium for Jubilee of Athletes.
  • Tuesday, 31: Apostolic Letter in form of 'Motu Proprio' proclaiming St. Thomas More as Patron Saint of Statesmen and Politicians.

NOVEMBER 2000:

  • Wednesday, 1: Solemnity of All Saints, 50th anniversary of dogmatic definition of the Assumption of Mary into heaven. Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter's Square.
  • Thursday, 9: Holy Father welcomes His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians.
  • Sunday, 12: Mass for Jubilee of Agricultural World.
  • Sunday, 19: Mass for the Jubilee of the Armed Forces and Police. Start of Jubilee of the Syro-Antiochean and Syro-Malankara Churches.
  • Tuesday, 21: Pontifical Council for the Family publishes document entitled "Family, Marriage and 'de facto' Unions." Pope welcomes Islam Abduganievic Karimov, president of Uzbekistan.
  • Thursday, 23: Publication of document by Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith "Instruction on Prayers for Healing."
  • Friday, 24: Jubilee of Catholic Jurists. Basic Agreement between Holy See and Slovakia. Pope receives Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda of the Republic of Slovakia.
  • Sunday, 26: Mass for Jubilee of the Laity and World Congress of Catholic Laity.
  • Tuesday, 28: Audience for King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain.
  • Thursday, 30: Pope receives President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

DECEMBER 2000:

  • Sunday 3: First Sunday of Advent. Mass for Jubilee of the Disabled.
  • Sunday, 10: Jubilee of Catechists and Teachers of Religion.
  • Monday, 11: Audience for Vojislav Kostunica, president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
  • Sunday, 17: Mass for the Jubilee of the World of Entertainment.
  • Monday, 18: Audience for President Rudolf Schuster of Slovak Republic.
  • Monday, 25: 2000th anniversary of the Nativity of Our Lord.

JANUARY 2001:

  • Tuesday, 2: Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president of the Central Committee for the Great Jubilee 2000, celebrates Mass in Bethlehem to mark the close of the Jubilee in the Holy Land.
  • Saturday, 6: Feast of the Epiphany; Pope John Paul closes Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica, thus closing the Jubilee Year 2000 after 379 days. Publication of Apostolic Letter "Novo millennio ineunte."
  • Sunday, 21: John Paul II names 37 new cardinals.
  • Sunday, 28: Holy Father names 5 new cardinals, reveals 2 "in pectore" (Cardinals Marian Jaworski, Ukraine, and Janis Pujats, Latvia).

FEBRUARY 2001:

  • Saturday, 3: First "ad limina" visit by Albanian prelates since end of communist dictatorship.
  • Saturday, 17: Apostolic Letter (dated February 2) for 1700th anniversary of Baptism of the Armenian People.
  • Wednesday, 21: Consistory for the creation of 44 new cardinals.
  • Thursday, 22: Pope concelebrates Mass with new cardinals, bestows cardinal's ring.

MARCH 2001:

  • Sunday, 11: 233 Spanish martyrs are beatified; largest beatification ceremony in history.

APRIL 2001:

  • Monday, 23: Audience for Rafik Hariri, president of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon.

MAY 2001:

  • Friday, May 4: John Paul II starts trip to Greece, Syria and Malta, his 93rd foreign apostolic trip. He is the first Pope to visit Greece in 1,000 years, the first Pope ever to visit Syria and the first pontiff to enter a mosque. Trip concludes May 9.
  • Tuesday, 8: Publication of the Fifth Instruction for the Right Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, "Liturgiam authenticam."
  • Monday, 21: Consistory of Cardinals opens in Vatican City: 155 cardinals are present. This is the sixth extraordinary consistory called by Pope John Paul II.
  • Monday, 28: Holy See declaration on participation by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, emeritus of Lusaka, in a marriage ceremony of the Unification Church.

JUNE 2001:

  • Sunday, 3: Pentecost Sunday and 38th anniversary of the death of Blessed John XXIII, whose incorrupt body, in a crystal and bronze coffin, was in St. Peter's Square during Mass celebrated by the Pope. It was later placed in its final resting place near the main altar of St. Peter's Basilica.
  • Tuesday, 12: Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples issues "Instruction on the Sending Abroad and Sojourn of Diocesan Priests from Mission Territories."
  • Saturday, 23: Pope departs for Ukraine, start of 94th foreign apostolic trip. On June 26, he presides at first beatification ceremony in Ukraine's history. Trip ends June 27.

JULY 2001:

  • Tuesday, 17: Public canonical admonition is issued to Archbishop Milingo through a notification from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
  • Monday, 23: At Castelgandolfo, John Paul II welcomes U.S. President George W. Bush.

AUGUST 2001:

  • Wednesday, 1: Pope holds 1,000th general audience in St. Peter's Square.
  • Monday, 6: Pope receives Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo.
  • Tuesday, 14: Archbishop Milingo writes to John Paul II, announcing that he will resume his life in the Catholic Church, will renounce living with Maria Sung and will sever his relations with Reverend Moon and the Federation of Families for World Peace (Unification Church).

SEPTEMBER 2001:

  • Tuesday, 11: In a telegram to U.S. President George W. Bush, Pope John Paul expresses "shock at the unspeakable horror of today's inhuman terrorist attacks against innocent peoples in different parts of the United States."
  • Wednesday, 12: Pope dedicates general audience to the terrorist attacks in U.S., calling them "a dark day in the history of humanity."
  • Thursday, 13: At Castelgandolfo the Pope welcomes new U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, James Nicholson, and offers prayers for America, condemning terrorist attack.
  • Sunday, 16: Papal trip to Frosinone: 140th pastoral visit within Italy.
  • Saturday, 22: Holy Father leaves for Kazakhstan and Armenia, his 95th foreign trip.
  • Sunday, 30: 10th Ordinary Synod of Bishops on theme of episcopal ministry is opened by John Paul.

OCTOBER 2001:

  • Tuesday, 16: 23rd anniversary of election of John Paul II: his papacy is now seventh longest in history.
  • Thursday, 25: In a Message to Rome meeting on "Matteo Ricci: For a Dialogue between China and the West," John Paul II urges normalization of relations between Holy See, China.

NOVEMBER 2001:

  • Thursday, 1: Holy Father marks 55th anniversary of priestly ordination.
  • Thursday, 22: John Paul II promulgates amd transmits via Internet Postsynodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Oceania."
  • Monday, 26: Holy See issues "unequivocal condemnation" of in vitro cloning of human embryo announced in the U.S.

DECEMBER 2001:

  • Thursday, 13: Pope presides over meeting in the Vatican on "Peace in the Holy Land and the Future of Christians."

JANUARY 2002

  • Friday, 18: Members of the Priestly Association of St. John Mary Vianney, a group of followers of Archbishop Lefebvre in the diocese of Campos, Brazil, return to full communion with the Chair of Peter.
  • Thursday, 24: The Pope participates in the Day of Prayer for Peace in the World, celebrated in Assisi, Italy.

FEBRUARY 2002:

  • Monday, 11: Declaration on the elevation today of four apostolic administrations in the Russian Federation to diocese by the Holy See.
  • Wednesday, 20: Announcement that documents from 1922-1939 during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI will be available for consultation starting in 2003.
  • Saturday, 23: The Pope will not visit Roman Basilica of St. Pudenziana al Viminale tomorrow due to pain in his right knee.

MARCH 2002:

  • Monday, 4: The Pope sends the "Assisi Decalogue for Peace," signed at the end of the Day of Prayer for Peace in the World on January 24, to all heads of State and government.
  • Friday, 8: Delegation of the Holy Synod of the Greek Church participates in work sessions in Rome from March 8-13. The Pope receives them in audience on March 11.

APRIL 2002:

  • Tuesday, 23: Pope receives in audience twelve American cardinals and different members of the Roman Curia who are meeting in Rome in order to elaborate ways to confront the issue of sexual abuse of minors by priests.

MAY 2002:

  • Wednesday, 1: Cardinal Roger Etchegaray travels to Jerusalem as the Pope's special envoy to express his concern for peace in the Holy Land.
  • Thursday, 2: Presentation of the Apostolic Letter Motu Propio "Misericordia Dei" on certain aspects of the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance.
  • Sunday, 5: Pastoral visit to Ischia, Italy.
  • Wednesday 22: Sunday 26: Apostolic trip to Azerbaijan and Bulgaria. It is the 96th papal trip outside of Italy.

JUNE 2002:

  • Sunday, 16: Canonization of Blessed Padre Pio of Pietreclina, Italy, born Francesco Forgione, priest of the Friars Minor Capuchins.
  • Friday, 28: Approval of Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way.

JULY 2002:

  • Tuesday 23 -Thursday, August 1: Apostolic trip to Toronto for 17th World Youth Day, Guatemala City and Mexico City: 97th outside of Italy.

AUGUST 2002:

  • Friday 16 - Monday 19: Apostolic trip to Poland, 98th outside of Italy and eighth to his native land since start of papacy.

SEPTEMBER 2002:

  • Wednesday, 11: In the general audience, the Holy Father prays for the victims of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, in Washington and Pennsylvania on the first anniversary of the tragedy.

OCTOBER 2002:

  • Sunday, 6: Canonization of Blessed Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, founder of Opus Dei.
  • Monday, 7: His Beatitude Teoctist, Orthodox patriarch of Romania, makes an official visit to the Holy Father and to the Church of Rome from October 7-13.
  • Wednesday, 16: On the 24th anniversary of his pontificate, the Pope signs the Apostolic Letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae" and adds five new mysteries, the "luminous mysteries." He proclaims October 2002-2003 the "Year of the Rosary."
  • Friday, 18: Presentation of the Instruction, "The Priest, pastor and leader of the Parish community."

NOVEMBER 2002:

  • Thursday, 14: The Pope visits the Italian Parliament for the first time in history.
  • Tuesday, 19: Presentation of the document "Consecrated persons and their mission in schools. Reflections and orientations."
  • Saturday, 30: Pope accepts resignation of Cardinal Bernardin Gantin as dean of College of Cardinals: he is succeeded by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

DECEMBER 2002:

  • Friday, 13: Declaration by Cardinal Bernard Law in which he express his gratitude to the Holy Father for having accepted his resignation as archbishop of Boston, U.S.A.

JANUARY 2003:

  • Thursday, 16: Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith publishes "Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life."

FEBRUARY 2003:

  • Thursday, 13: Holy Father receives Rome's new Chief Rabbi Riccardo di Segni.
  • Friday, 14: Pope welcomes Iraqi vice premier Tariq Aziz.
  • Saturday, 15: Papal envoy Cardinal Roger Etchegaray meets with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.
  • Tuesday, 18: Pope receives U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.
  • Wednesday, 19: Holy See addresses U.N. Security Council on Iraq Question
  • Saturday, 22: Holy Father receives British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
  • Thursday, 27: Pope receives Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain and Seyyed Mohammad Reza Khatami, vice president of Iran's Islamic Consultative Assembly.

MARCH 2003:

  • Wednesday, 5: Papal envoy Cardinal Pio Laghi speaks with U.S. President George Bush on Iraqi crisis.
  • Thursday, 6: Publication of "Roman Triptych, Meditations," book of poetry by Pope John Paul.
  • Sunday, 16: "Never again war!" Pope exhorts international community at Angelus.

APRIL 2003:

  • Thursday, 17: start of Holy Week: Publication of Holy Father's Encyclical "Ecclesia de Eucharistia": Pope writes meditations for Good Friday's Way of the Corss at the Colosseum.
  • Saturday, 26: Publication of papal letter to Cuban President Fidel Castro asking clemency in the sentencing of dissidents.
  • Wednesday, 30: Pope John Paul II's pontificate becomes fourth longest in history at 24 years, 6 months and 8 days, following Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius IX and St. Peter.

MAY 2003:

  • Saturday, Sunday, 3 & 4: Apostolic trip to Spain: 99th foreign trip.
  • Sunday, 18: Pope turns 83.

JUNE 2003:

  • Monday, 2: Pope receives U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
  • Thursday, 5: Start of apostolic trip to Croatia: 100th foreign papal trip. Letter from Cardinal Sodano to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, expressing Holy See support for U.S. role.
  • Sunday, 22: Pope to Bosnia-Herzegovina: 101st foreign trip.
  • Saturday, 28: Publication of Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Europa."

JULY 2003:

  • Thursday, 31: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith publishes document "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons."

AUGUST 2003:

  • Sundays: 3, 10, 17, 24, 31: Holy Father dedicates Angelus reflections to Europe, its culture, history and institutions and the future European constitution, emphasizing each time Europe's deep Christian roots.

SEPTEMBER 2003:

  • Thursday, 11: Start of Pope's 102nd foreign apostolic trip: to Slovakia, until September 14.
  • Monday, 22: Authorities in Georgia withdraw from signing bilateral accord with Holy See officials present for ceremony.
  • Sunday, 28: Pope names 31 new cardinals, calls consistory for October 21.

OCTOBER 2003:

  • Saturday, 4: Pope welcomes Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.
  • Tuesday, 7: Trip to Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii.

Check out the Latest News on Blessed Pope John Paul II Road to Canonization »


Life of Blessed Pope John Paul II

1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
1920's Early Years
  • Born in Wadowice (Kraków), Poland.
    Born in Wadowice (Kraków), Poland.
    Born in Wadowice (Kraków), Poland.
    May 18, 1920
  • Baptized by the military chaplain P. Franciszek Zak.
    Baptized into Christ and His Church by a Chaplain in the Polish Army, Fr. Franciszek Zak.
    Baptized by the military chaplain P. Franciszek Zak.
    June 20, 1920
  • Attended the elementary school for boys
    Attended the elementary school for boys, and then the prep years of secondary school "Marcin Wadowita" in which during all his classes he achieved the top grades.
    Attended the elementary school for boys
    September 15, 1926
  • His mother dies.
    Death of his mother due to heart and kidney problems.
    His mother dies.
    April 13, 1929
  • First Holy Communion
    First Holy Communion
    First Holy Communion
    October 1, 1929
1930's Early Years
  • Admitted to the State Secondary School for boys, "Marcin Wadowita".
    Admitted to the State Secondary School for boys, "Marcin Wadowita".
    Admitted to the State Secondary School for boys, "Marcin Wadowita".
    June 1, 1930
  • His brother Edmund dies.
    Loss of his childhood occurs with the death of his brother to scarlet fever.
    His brother Edmund dies.
    December 5, 1932
  • Participates in military training exercises at Hermanice.
    Participates in military training exercises at Hermanice.
    Participates in military training exercises at Hermanice.
    September 1, 1935
  • Admitted into the Society of Mary.
    Admitted into the Society of Mary.
    Admitted into the Society of Mary.
    December 14, 1935
  • Receives the Sacrament of Confirmation.
    Receives the Sacrament of Confirmation.
    Receives the Sacrament of Confirmation.
    May 1, 1938
  • Enrolls in the Faculty of Philosophy at Jagellonian University, Kraków.
    Enrolls in the Faculty of Philosophy (course of Polish Philosophy) at Jagellonian University, Kraków.
    Enrolls in the Faculty of Philosophy at Jagellonian University, Kraków.
    June 22, 1938
  • He and his father move to Kraków
    Young Karol and his father move to Kraków (Via Tyniecka 10).
    He and his father move to Kraków
    August 1, 1938
  • University military training
    University military training camp at Ozomla, near Sadowa Wiszna for Polish and Ukraine students.
    University military training
    July 1, 1939
  • Second World War begins.
    Second World War begins.
    Second World War begins.
    September 1, 1939
  • Registers for the second year university courses in Literature and Philosophy.
    Registers for the second year university courses in Literature and Philosophy.
    Registers for the second year university courses in Literature and Philosophy.
    November 2, 1939
1940's Priesthood
  • His father dies.
    His father dies.
    His father dies.
    February 18, 1941
  • Escaped Gestapo round by hiding in his uncle's basement.
    Escaped Gestapo round by hiding in his uncle's basement.
    Escaped Gestapo round by hiding in his uncle's basement.
    August 6, 1944
  • The Russian Armed Forces free Kraków from Nazi occupation.
    The Russian Armed Forces free Kraków from Nazi occupation.
    The Russian Armed Forces free Kraków from Nazi occupation.
    January 18, 1945
  • Ordained a priest.
    Ordained a priest. As on the preceding occasions, he received Holy Orders from the hands of Archbishop Metropolitan Adam Sapieha in his private chapel.
    Ordained a priest.
    November 1, 1946
  • Celebrates his first Mass in the crypt of St. Leonard at Wavel.
    Celebrates his first Mass in the crypt of St. Leonard at Wavel.
    Celebrates his first Mass in the crypt of St. Leonard at Wavel.
    November 2, 1946
  • Leaves Poland to begin studies in Rome.
    Leaves Poland to begin studies in Rome.
    Leaves Poland to begin studies in Rome.
    November 15, 1946
  • Earns a master's degree in theology at the Jagellonian University in Kraków
    Earns a master's degree in theology at the Jagellonian University in Kraków (1942-1946). Earns a doctorate in sacred theology in the Faculty of Theology at the Jagellonian University with highest marks.
    Earns a master's degree in theology at the Jagellonian University in Kraków
    December 16, 1948
  • Recalled to Kraków to be assistant pastor at St. Florian's.
    Recalled to Kraków to be assistant pastor at St. Florian's.
    Recalled to Kraków to be assistant pastor at St. Florian's.
    August 5, 1949
1950's Priesthood
  • Archbishop Baziak puts him on leave
    Archbishop Baziak puts him on leave (until 1953) to complete his qualifying exams for a university position. Up until now he served as a chaplain to the university students (in St. Florian's) and for health workers.
    Archbishop Baziak puts him on leave
    September 1, 1951
  • Gives course in Catholic social ethics for Jagellonian University students
    Gives a course in Catholic social ethics for the students of fourth year theology at the Jagellonian University.
    Gives course in Catholic social ethics for Jagellonian University students
    October 1, 1953
  • Completes qualifying exams with thesis on the "ethical system of Max Scheler".
    Completes his qualifying exams by presenting his thesis on the "ethical system of Max Scheler".
    Completes qualifying exams with thesis on the "ethical system of Max Scheler".
    December 1, 1953
  • Faculty of Theology at the Jagellonian University abolished,
    Faculty of Theology at the Jagellonian University abolished, this faculty is then organized at the Seminary of Kraków where he continues his studies. Catholic University of Lublin offers him a non-tenured professorship which he accepts.
    Faculty of Theology at the Jagellonian University abolished,
    January 1, 1954
  • Appointed to the Chair of Ethics at the Catholic University of Lublin.
    Appointed to the Chair of Ethics at the Catholic University of Lublin.
    Appointed to the Chair of Ethics at the Catholic University of Lublin.
    December 1, 1956
  • The Central Qualifying Committee approves his appointment as free docent.
    The Central Qualifying Committee approves his appointment as free docent.
    The Central Qualifying Committee approves his appointment as free docent.
    November 15, 1957
  • Appointed Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Baziak of Kraków.
    Appointed Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Mons. Eugeniusz Baziak of Kraków.
    Appointed Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Baziak of Kraków.
    July 4, 1958
  • Ordained Bishop in the Cathedral of Wavel.
    Ordained Bishop in the Cathedral of Wavel.
    Ordained Bishop in the Cathedral of Wavel.
    September 28, 1958
1960's Priesthood
  • After the death of Archbishop Baziak, named Vicar Capitular.
    After the death of Archbishop Baziak, named Vicar Capitular.
    After the death of Archbishop Baziak, named Vicar Capitular.
    July 16, 1962
  • Participates in the II Session of the Second Vatican Council.
    Participates in the II Session of the Second Vatican Council.
    Participates in the II Session of the Second Vatican Council.
    October 6, 1963
  • Designated Metropolitan Bishop of Kraków.
    Designated Metropolitan Bishop of Kraków.
    Designated Metropolitan Bishop of Kraków.
    December 30, 1963
  • Archbishop Wojtyla is made President of Apostolate of the Laity
    Episcopal Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity is established; Archbishop Wojtyla is made President.
    Archbishop Wojtyla is made President of Apostolate of the Laity
    December 29, 1966
  • Karol Wojtyla named Cardinal elect
    Paul VI announces the next Consistory. Among the names of the new Cardinals elect is that of Karol Wojtyla.
    Karol Wojtyla named Cardinal elect
    May 29, 1967
  • Consecrated Cardinal in the Sistine Chapel, by Pope Paul VI
    Consecrated Cardinal in the Sistine Chapel, by Pope Paul VI - titular S. Cesareo in Palatio.
    Consecrated Cardinal in the Sistine Chapel, by Pope Paul VI
    June 26, 1967
  • Takes possession of the titular Church, S. Cesareo in Palatio, Rome.
    Takes possession of the titular Church, S. Cesareo in Palatio, Rome.
    Takes possession of the titular Church, S. Cesareo in Palatio, Rome.
    February 18, 1968
  • Vice-President of the Episcopal Conference
    Approval of the statutes of the Episcopal Conference; Cardinal Wojtyla is Vice-President of the Conference.
    Vice-President of the Episcopal Conference
    March 15, 1969
  • The Polish Theological Society publishes "The Acting Person"
    The Polish Theological Society (PTT) of Krakow publishes "The Acting Person" (Osoba i cyzn).
    The Polish Theological Society publishes "The Acting Person"
    December 1, 1969
1970's Priesthood / Pope
  • Is elected to the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.
    Is elected to the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.
    Is elected to the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.
    October 5, 1971
  • Card. Wojtyla presides over the Polish delegation
    Card. Wojtyla presides over the Polish delegation at the international conference in Rome for the preparations of the new Apostolic Constitution for Ecclesiastical Studies.
    Card. Wojtyla presides over the Polish delegation
    November 22, 1976
  • Receives a doctorate "honoris causa" from Johannes Guttenberg University
    Receives a doctorate "honoris causa" from Johannes Guttenberg University, Mainz.
    Receives a doctorate "honoris causa" from Johannes Guttenberg University
    June 23, 1977
  • Present at the funeral of Paul VI.
    Present at the funeral of Paul VI.
    Present at the funeral of Paul VI.
    August 11, 1978
  • John Paul I is elected Pope
    John Paul I (Albino Luciani) is elected Pope.
    John Paul I is elected Pope
    August 26, 1978
  • Funeral of Pope John Paul I
    Leaves for the funeral of Pope John Paul I.
    Funeral of Pope John Paul I
    October 3, 1978
  • Cardinal Karol Wojtyla is elected 264th Pope at approximately 5:15 p.m
    Cardinal Karol Wojtyla is elected 264th Pope at approximately 5:15 p.m. He is the 263rd Successor of Peter.
    Cardinal Karol Wojtyla is elected 264th Pope at approximately 5:15 p.m
    October 16, 1978
  • Takes first trip abroad
    Takes first trip abroad, to Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Bahamas.
    Takes first trip abroad
    January 25, 1979
  • Pope says Mass at the site of the Birkenau concentration camp, Auschwitz
    The pope says Mass at the site of the Birkenau concentration camp, the largest of 36 camps in a complex known collectively as Auschwitz.
    Pope says Mass at the site of the Birkenau concentration camp, Auschwitz
    June 7, 1979
  • John Paul II visits the United States for the first time as pope.
    John Paul II visits the United States for the first time as pope and addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
    John Paul II visits the United States for the first time as pope.
    September 29, 1979
1980's Pope
  • Pope is shot in the abdomen by a young Turk named Mehmet Ali Agca.
    Pope John Paul II is shot in the abdomen and hand in St. Peter's Square and seriously wounded. Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turk, is arrested. The pope spends 22 days in a hospital.
    Pope is shot in the abdomen by a young Turk named Mehmet Ali Agca.
    May 13, 1981
  • Spanish priest lunges at the pope with a bayonet in Fatima, Portugal
    A Spanish priest lunges at the pope with a bayonet during the first day of a papal trip to Fatima, Portugal. John Paul is unhurt.
    Spanish priest lunges at the pope with a bayonet in Fatima, Portugal
    May 12, 1982
  • Calls for the heads of government to end to the arms race
    Calls for the heads of government of the United States and the Soviet Union to negotiate an end to the arms race.
    Calls for the heads of government to end to the arms race
    September 29, 1983
  • Meets with and forgives his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca
    The pope meets with and forgives his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, in prison in Rome.
    Meets with and forgives his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca
    December 27, 1983
  • The United States and the Vatican establish full diplomatic relations.
    The United States and the Vatican establish full diplomatic relations.
    The United States and the Vatican establish full diplomatic relations.
    January 10, 1984
  • Historic visit to Rome's main synagogue
    John Paul II prays at Rome's main synagogue, the first ever recorded visit of a pope to a synagogue.
    Historic visit to Rome's main synagogue
    April 13, 1986
  • Official visit of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
    Official visit of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
    Official visit of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
    June 6, 1987
  • Official visit of U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
    Official visit of U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
    Official visit of U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
    May 27, 1989
  • Receives Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the Vatican
    Receives Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the Vatican in the first ever meeting between a pope and a Kremlin chief.
    Receives Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the Vatican
    December 1, 1989
1990's Pope
  • Issues first encyclical on social issues.
    Issues first encyclical on social issues since the fall of communism in Europe, giving qualified approval to capitalism but warning rich against taking advantage of poor.
    Issues first encyclical on social issues.
    May 1, 1991
  • Agreement signed establishing formal diplomatic ties between Israel and Vatican.
    Agreement signed establishing formal diplomatic ties between Israel and Vatican.

    Agreement signed establishing formal diplomatic ties between Israel and Vatican.
    December 30, 1993
  • John Paul II reaffirms the church's opposition to female priests
    John Paul II reaffirms the church's opposition to female priests in a letter to bishops, writing that the church "has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the church's faithful."
    John Paul II reaffirms the church's opposition to female priests
    May 30, 1994
  • Publishes his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope.
    Publishes his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope.
    Publishes his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope.
    October 20, 1994
  • Issues encyclical "Gospel of Life," and condemns spreading "culture of death"
    Issues encyclical "Gospel of Life," and condemns spreading "culture of death," including abortion, euthanasia, experimentation on human embryos. The statement comes in the 11th encyclical -- a special letter reserved for matters of extreme importance to the church -- of John Paul's papacy.
    Issues encyclical "Gospel of Life," and condemns spreading "culture of death"
    March 25, 1995
  • Meets with Cuban President Fidel Castro.
    Meets with Cuban President Fidel Castro.
    Meets with Cuban President Fidel Castro.
    November 19, 1996
  • Vatican issues We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, or Holocaust
    Vatican issues We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, or Holocaust, expressing remorse for the cowardice of some Christians during World War II but defending the actions of wartime Pope Pius XII.
    Vatican issues We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, or Holocaust
    March 16, 1998
  • Celebrates 20th anniversary as pope, asking for prayers to fulfill his mission
    Celebrates 20th anniversary as pope, asking for prayers to fulfill his mission "until the end."
    Celebrates 20th anniversary as pope, asking for prayers to fulfill his mission
    October 18, 1998
  • Gives permission to start the cause of beatification for Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
    Gives permission to start the cause of beatification for Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
    Gives permission to start the cause of beatification for Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
    March 1, 1999
2000's Pope
  • Mehmet Ali Agca is granted clemency & extradited to Turkey
    Mehmet Ali Agca, who attempted to assassinate John Paul II in 1981, is granted clemency by Italian President Carlo Ciampi, and extradited to his native Turkey.
    Mehmet Ali Agca is granted clemency & extradited to Turkey
    June 13, 2000
  • Receives U.S. President George W. Bush.
    Receives U.S. President George W. Bush.
    Receives U.S. President George W. Bush.
    May 28, 2002
  • A top Vatican official confirms pope has Parkinson's disease.
    A top Vatican official publicly acknowledges for the first time what observers have suspected for a decade -- that John Paul II suffers from Parkinson's disease. The pope had long showed signs of Parkingson's, including slurred speech and trembling.
    A top Vatican official confirms pope has Parkinson's disease.
    May 17, 2003
  • U.S. President George W. Bush awards pontiff the Medal of Freedom.
    U.S. President George W. Bush awards pontiff the Medal of Freedom.
    U.S. President George W. Bush awards pontiff the Medal of Freedom.
    June 4, 2004
  • The pope breathes heavily and gasps during an open-air Mass in Lourdes, France
    The pope breathes heavily and gasps during an open-air Mass in Lourdes, France, during one of just two foreign trips during the year.
    The pope breathes heavily and gasps during an open-air Mass in Lourdes, France
    August 15, 2004
  • Rushed to a hospital in Rome with flu and difficulties breathing.
    Rushed to a hospital in Rome with flu and difficulties breathing.
    Rushed to a hospital in Rome with flu and difficulties breathing.
    February 1, 2005
  • Returns to hospital after a relapse of the flu; undergoes a tracheotomy
    Returns to hospital after a relapse of the flu; undergoes a tracheotomy to ease his breathing.
    Returns to hospital after a relapse of the flu; undergoes a tracheotomy
    February 24, 2005
  • Vatican announces John Paul II has a high fever as a result of urinary tract infection
    The Vatican announces that John Paul II has a high fever as a result of a urinary tract infection. He later suffers septic shock, meaning that bacteria had spread from his urinary tract to his blood, poisoning his blood stream and causing his blood vessels to collapse. The pope receives the sacrament for the sick and dying, formerly known as the last rites.
    Vatican announces John Paul II has a high fever as a result of urinary tract infection
    March 31, 2005
  • Pope John Paul II dies at 84.
    Pope John Paul II dies at 9:37 p.m. of septic shock and cardio-circulatory collapse. He was 84.
    Pope John Paul II dies at 84.
    April 2, 2005