Timeline: Life and times of Pope John Paul II
(Reuters) - The late Pope John Paul II moved a step closer to sainthood on Friday when his successor Pope Benedict approved the attribution of a miracle to him and announced he will beatified on May 1.
Here is a timeline of the pontificate of John Paul.
Oct 16, 1978 - Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow in Poland elected as first non-Italian pope in 455 years.
June 2-10, 1979 - Returns to his communist-ruled homeland, a trip seen as a factor in the rise of the Solidarity movement.
May 13, 1981 - Shot by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca in Rome's St Peter's Square. Surgery saves his life.
April 13, 1986 - First pope since the times of the apostles to visit a synagogue; calls Jews "our beloved elder brothers."
Dec 1, 1989 - President Mikhail Gorbachev invites Pope John Paul to Soviet Union, though he never takes up offer.
April 21, 1990 - Flies to Czechoslovakia to hail collapse of communism with President Vaclav Havel.
Oct 31, 1992 - After 359 years, Pope rehabilitates Galileo, condemned by the Church for saying earth turns around the sun. Continued...