Born: May 18, 1920 - Died: April 2, 2005. Pope John Paul II reigned from 16 October 1978 to his death in 2005. He held this position as the second longest in history. Pope JPII visited 129 countries during his pontificate. He beatified 1,340 people and canonized 483 saints any other Pope.
Saint Pope John Paul II was born and named Karol Jozef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920. He died on April 2, 2005 at the age of 84 years. John Paul II reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from October 16, 1978 until his death. He was the only Polish Pontiff to reign. The Pontiff was influencial in the downfall of Communism. He traveled more than any other Pope in history, visiting 129 countries. The Holy Father spoke many languages including: Polish, Italian, Spanish, German, English, Portuguese, Russian, French, Croatian and Latin. He beatified 1, 340 people and canonised 483 Saints. John Paul II was beatified on May 1, 2011 and his memorial is celebrated on Oct. 22. Karol Wojtyla was born in Poland in Wadowice. He was the youngest of 3 children to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. When Karol was 8 years old his mother(April 13, 1929) died. Olga, Karol's elder sister died in infancy. His only remaining sibling, a brother Edmund, was a physician. Edmund, 14 years older than Karol, died from scarlet fever. In 1938, Karol and his father moved to Krakow. He then studied at Jagiellonian University. Here Karol engaged in theatrical works and hard labour. His father died of a heart attack in 1941. Wojtyla began priestly studies in 1942 at an underground seminary. He was ordained a priest on November 1, 1946. Here he received a licentiate and a doctorate in Sacred Theology.