Pope John Paul II
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Papacy began: 16 October 1978
Papacy ended: 2 April 2005
Predecessor: John Paul I
Successor: Benedict XVI
Ordination: 1 November 1946 by Adam Stefan Sapieha
Consecration: 28 September 1958 by Eugeniusz Baziak
Created Cardinal: 26 June 1967
Birth name: Karol Józef Wojtyla
Born: 18 May 1920 in Wadowice, Republic of Poland
Died: 2 April 2005 (aged 84) in Apostolic Palace, Vatican City
Auxiliary Bishop of Kraków, Poland (1958 - 1964)
Titular Bishop of Ombi (1958 - 1964)
Archbishop of Kraków, Poland (1964 - 1978)
Cardinal Priest of San Cesareo in Palatio (1967 - 1978)
Motto: Totus Tuus meaning ''totally yours''
Feast day: 22 October
Beatified: 1 May 2011, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope Benedict XVI
Patronage: World Youth Day (Co- Patron)
John Paul II (Latin: Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Italian: Giovanni Paolo II, Polish: Jan Pawel II), born Karol Józef Wojtyla 18 May 1920, Wadowice, Republic of Poland - 2 April 2005, Vatican City), reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005. He was the second longest serving Pope in history and the first non Italian since 1523. John Paul II was acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century. He was instrumental in ending communism in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe. John Paul II significantly improved the Catholic Church's relations with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. Though criticised by progressives for upholding the Church's teachings against artificial contraception and the ordination of women, and by traditionalists for his support of the Church's Second Vatican Council and its reform, he was also widely praised for his firm, orthodox Catholic stances.
He was one of the most travelled world leaders in history, visiting 129 countries during his pontificate. As part of his special emphasis on the universal call to holiness, he beatified 1,340 people and canonised 483 saints, more than the combined tally of his predecessors during the preceding five centuries. He named most of the present College of Cardinals, consecrated or co-consecrated a large number of the world's past and current bishops, and ordained many priests. A key goal of his papacy was to transform and reposition the Catholic Church. His wish was ''to place his Church at the heart of a new religious alliance that would bring together Jews, Muslims and Christians in a great [religious] armada''. 19 December 2009, John Paul II was proclaimed venerable by his successor Pope Benedict XVI and was beatified on 1 May 2011.