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John Paul II, Pope (since 1978), ecclesiastical Karol Wojtyla. 1920–2005.

Pope John Paul II during his journey in Poland.

Photo, 1983 (Lotti).
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May 2020: 100 years since the Birth of Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II (born Karol Józef Wojtyla), 18 May 1920 (Wadowice, Poland) – 2 April 2005 (Apostolic Palace, Vatican City, Rome, Italy).

Growing up during World War II and having lost all near members of his family by 1941, he was seriously considering becoming a priest by the time he was 20 years old. In October 1942, while the war continued, he started to study for the priesthood and was ordained as a priest on All Saints' Day, 1st November 1946.

John Paul II is recognised as helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe.

He was canonised as a saint on 27 April 2014, Divine Mercy Sunday.