May 18, 1920: Born Karol Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland.
Nov. 1, 1946: Ordained to the priesthood and sent to Angelicum University in Rome, where he earned a doctorate in ethics before returning to Poland. He was an assistant pastor in a village parish and then a chaplain to university students while continuing his studies at the Catholic University of Lublin.
Sept. 28, 1958: Ordained auxiliary bishop of Krakow, then became vicar capitular in 1962 after the death of Apostolic Administrator Eugeniusz Baziak.
Jan. 13, 1964: Appointed archbishop after Communist government of Poland lifted ban on such appointments.
June 26, 1967: Inducted into the College of Cardinals.
Oct. 16, 1978: Elected Pope, becoming the first Polish Pope in history and the first non-Italian pontiff in 455 years. He succeeded John Paul I, who died after little more than a month in office.
Oct. 22, 1978: Installed as Pope at ceremonies attended by more than 250,000 in St. Peter's Square.
Jan. 25, 1979: Began the first of his many foreign visits as Pope, flying to the Dominican Republic and Mexico. He has made 35 pastoral trips.
March 4, 1979: Issued his first encyclical, \o7 Redemptor Hominus,\f7 which defended the rights of economically underdeveloped peoples and religious liberty for religious people in officially atheistic countries.
June 2, 1979: Made his first trip as Pope to his native Poland.
Sept. 30, 1979: Flew to Ireland, where in Dublin he celebrated Mass for 1.2 million people, the largest number to attend a Mass anywhere at any time.
Oct. 1, 1979: Made his first trip to the United States as Pope, visiting Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Des Moines, Chicago and Washington. The visit included an address to the United Nations.
Sept. 26-Oct. 25, 1980: Presided over his first Synod of Bishops and the fifth Synod Assembly.
May 13, 1981: Critically wounded by a Turkish terrorist in St. Peter's Square.
Sept. 14, 1981: A month before he resumed public appearances, issued an encyclical, \o7 Laborem Exercens, \f7 which praised the value of unions for social justice and called for "just" wages, enough for wives to stay home in the role of homemaker.
May 29, 1982: Joined Church of England Archbishop Robert A. K. Runcie in prayer at Canterbury Cathedral.
Feb. 3, 1983: Formally approved the revised Code of Canon Law for Latin Rite.
June 16-23, 1983: Revisited Poland.
Jan. 10, 1984: Began full diplomatic relations with the United States.
April 13, 1986: Went to a synagogue in Rome, becoming the first pontiff to visit a Jewish place of worship.
March 25, 1987: Issued his sixth encyclical, dealing with the Virgin Mary and the pilgrim church in preparation for the Marian Year he called for June 7, 1987, through Aug. 15, 1988.