Pope John Paul II: 1920-2005

Article excerpt

Clockwise from left:

John Paul II visits Mother Teresa in Calcutta, 1986.

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In Rome, just days after his election as pope, 1978.

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Forgiving his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot the pope in 1981.

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Embracing Monik, 3, in Madagascar, 1989.

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Background: Celebrating Mass in Krakow, Poland, 2002.

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Clockwise from left:

Karol Jozef Wojtyla poses on his First Communion Day, c. 1928. Greeting Chicagoans on his first U.S. visit as pope, 1979.

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Meeting President Ronald and Nancy Reagan in Fairbanks, Alaska, 1984.

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Visiting Native Americas in Yellowknife, Canada, 1984,

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Reeling from a bullet in the abdomen fired by Mehmet Ali Agca, May 13, 1981. A six-hour surgery repaired the damage.

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As a young seminarian (undated).

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Clockwise from left:

The pope is received by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, marking the first time any pope visited the White House.

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Addressing the faithful in an undated photo.

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At a snowy Mass in Sarajevo, 1997.

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At World Youth Day in Denver, 1993.

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Waving to well-wishers from his Popemobile in Bydgoszcz, Poland, 1999.

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A 1995 visit to Baltimore included this moment with a young girl.

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Taking some time to walk and pray in the woods during his 1984 visit to Canada.

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Clockwise from below:

Visiting a family in M'Banza-Congo, Angola, 1992.

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Praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem during his Jubilee Year pilgrimage, 2000.

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Blessing the people in St. Peter's Square during his Urbi et Orbi message, Christmas, 2004.

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Archbishop Piero Marini, right, kneels by the coffin of Pope John Paul II during the funeral in St. Peter's Square on April 8, 2005.

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Mourners huddle in sleeping bags under the colonnades of St. Peter's Square on the eve of the funeral.

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"God of our fathers, you chose Abraham and his descendants to bring your name to the Nations: We are deeply saddened by the behavior of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and, asking your forgiveness, we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the Covenant."

--Message left by John Paul II at the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, March 26, 2000

A Final Blessing

"I leave you now with this prayer: that the Lord Jesus will reveal himself to each one of you, that he will give you the strength to go out and profess that you are Christian, that he will show you that he alone can fill your hearts.

"Accept his freedom and embrace his truth, and be messengers of the certainty that you have been truly liberated through the death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

"This will be the new experience, the powerful experience, that will generate, through you, a more just society and a better world. God bless you, and may the joy of Jesus be always with you. Amen."

May 18, 1920: Karol Jozef Wojtyla is born in Wadowice, Poland.

1929: His mother, Emilia, dies.

1932: His brother, Edmund, dies of scarlet fever.

1937: Karol and his father move to Krakow. …