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Pope John Paul II

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Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) Timeline

By The Associated Press -- May 18, 1920 -- Karol Joseph Wojtyla is born in Wadowice, Poland. His father is a foundry worker and army officer. His mother is a former teacher who suffers from frequent illnesses.

April 13, 1929 -- His mother dies at age 45.

Dec. 5, 1932 -- His only sibling, his brother Edmund, a physician, dies after catching scarlet fever from a patient.

1938 -- The future pope is confirmed, finishes secondary school, and moves to Krakow with his father to enroll at Jagellonian University. He studies philosophy and literature and joins an experimental theater group, "Studio 38."

July 1939 -- Wojtyla undergoes university military training.

Sept. 1, 1939 -- Nazi Germany invades Poland, starting World War II.

1940 -- With the Nazis having closed Jagellonian University, Wojtyla earns a living as a stone cutter in a quarry in Krakow and later works at a chemical plant.

Feb. 18, 1941 -- His father dies at age 61.

October, 1942 -- Begins clandestine study for the priesthood in Krakow.

1944 -- Wojtyla's name appears on a Nazi blacklist for his activities as a member of the Christian democratic underground.

Jan. 18, 1945 -- Russian troops liberate Krakow from the Nazis.

Nov. 1, 1946 -- Wojtyla is ordained as a priest. Weeks later, he heads to Rome and enrolls at the Angelicum Pontifical University.

1948 -- Earns a doctorate of philosophy at Angelicum Pontifical University in June and returns to Poland, where he earns a master's degree in theology and a doctorate in sacred theology from Jagellonian University in December.

1949--1951 -- Works as vicar in several Krakow parishes and serves as chaplain for university students.

1954 -- Begins teaching at the Catholic University in Lublin.

July 4, 1958 -- Appointed auxiliary bishop of Krakow by Pope Pius XII.

Jan. 13, 1964 -- Appointed archbishop of Krakow.

June 28, 1967 -- Elevated to cardinal by Pope Paul VI.

August, 1978 -- Pope Paul VI dies on Aug. 6. Cardinal Wojtyla takes part in the Aug. 25-26 conclave that chooses Pope John Paul I.

Sept. 29, 1978 -- Pope John Paul I dies.

Oct. 16, 1978 -- Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow is elected pope and takes the name John Paul II. He is the first Pole to be elected pope and the first on-Italian pontiff in 455 years.

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