Highlights of Pope John Paul II’s Pontificate

Statistics of the First 20 Years of Pope John Paul II’s Pontificate

  • John Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005, had the second longest reign of any of the Successors of St. Peter. Pope Pius IX had the longest tenure: 32 years, from 1846 to 1878.
  • In the first 20 years of his Pontificate, John Paul made 84 apostolic voyages, visiting 117 different countries. During this time he made 134 shorter trips inside Italy, reaching 269 different towns. And he carried out apostolic visits to 274 of the 328 parishes in the Rome diocese.

During these trips from 1978 to 1998, the Pope delivered 2,194 official public addresses. His busiest speaking tour was his 1979 trip to Ireland and the United States, when he gave 76 public talks in the course of 9 days. His combined travel for the first 20 year took him on trips covering over 1,000,000 miles altogether– roughly 26 times the circumference of the globe, or more than twice the distance from earth to the moon.

  • John Paul II in his first 20 years presided at the canonization of 280 new saints– 246 martyrs and 34 confessors– in 35 different ceremonies. He beatified 805 people, in 112 ceremonies.
  • From 1978 to 1998 hewrote 13 encyclicals, 10 apostolic exhortations, 10 apostolic constitutions, 37 apostolic letters, and 19 motu proprios.
  • In his first 20 years, John Paul II held 7 consistories and elevated 157 men to the college of cardinals. Of the 157 cardinals living in 1998, 128 received their red hats from John Paul.
  • Through 1998 John Paul II presided over 12 assemblies (including general, particular, and extraordinary sessions) of the Synod of Bishops; 877 weekly catechetical audiences (with an estimated attendance of nearly 14 million altogether); 584 official visits with heads of state and another 82 with prime ministers.


Highlights of Pope John Paul II’s First Twenty Years: A Chronology



Oct. 16 Cardinal Karol Wojtyla is elected successor to Pope John Paul I, becoming the 264th Pope of the Catholic Church. He is the first non-Italian Pope since Adrian VI (1522-23), the first Polish Pope, and the youngest Pope since Pius IX (1846-78). He takes the name John Paul II.

Oct. 17 First “Urbi et Orbi” radio message of John Paul II.

Oct. 22 Solemn inauguration of his ministry as Universal Pastor of the Church.

Oct. 23 John Paul II’s historic embrace of Cardinal Wyszynski.

Oct. 25 First trip by new pontiff to Castelgandolfo: visit to the parish church and papal villa.

Oct. 29 First pilgrimage outside Rome to the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Mentorella.

Nov. 5 Visit of John Paul II to Assisi to venerate the tomb of St. Francis, patron of Italy, and to the basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva to venerate the tomb of St. Catherine, patroness of Italy.

Nov. 12 As bishop of Rome, John Paul II takes possession of St. John Lateran Basilica.

Dec. 5 John Paul II begins his pastoral visits to the parishes in the diocese of Rome: St. Francis Xavier at Garbatella.



Jan. 24 John Paul II accepts the request for mediation in the border conflict between Argentina and Chile.

Jan. 24 Audience granted to the Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko.

Jan. 25 First pastoral visit of John Paul II outside Italy: to the Dominican Republic, Mexico (for the Third General Conference of the Latin American Bishops, Puebla) and the Bahamas.

Mar. 4 First papal Encyclical “Redemptor Hominis” (On the redemption and dignity of the human race), published March 15.

Mar. 13 John Paul II presides over funeral of Secretary of State Cardinal Jean Villot, who died on March 9.

Apr. 30 Archbishop Agostino Casaroli is appointed pro-secretary of state and pro-prefect of the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church.

June 2 Second pastoral visit of John Paul II outside Italy: to Poland (June 2-10).

June 2 Historic homily of John Paul II at Victory Square in Warsaw: “It is not possible to understand the history of the Polish nation without Christ.”

June 30 Celebration of the first consistory in his pontificate for the creation of 14 cardinals, among whom were Agostino Casaroli, secretary of state. (One additional Cardinal was reserved “in pectore,” Chinese Ignatius Gong Pin-mei, whose appointment was published only in the consistory of June 28, 1991).

Sep. 29 Third pastoral visit of John Paul II outside Italy: to Ireland, the United Nations and the United States of America (September 29-October 8).

Oct. 2 John Paul II addresses the UN General Assembly in New York.

Oct. 16 Post-Synodal Pastoral Exhortation “Catechesi Tradendae,” published October 25.

Nov. 5 First Plenary Assembly of the College of Cardinals on the themes: the structure of the Roman Curia; the Church and culture; the financial situation of the Holy See (November 5-9).

Nov. 28 Fourth pastoral visit of John Paul II outside Italy: to Turkey (November 28-30).



Jan. 14 Opening of the Special Assembly for the Netherlands of the Synod of the Bishops on: “The pastoral action of the Church in Holland in the present situation” (January 14-31).

Apr. 4 Good Friday: John Paul II hears confessions of the faithful for the first time in St. Peter’s Basilica.

May 2 Fifth pastoral visit of John Paul II outside Italy: Zaire, Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ghana, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast (May 2-12).

May 30 Sixth pastoral visit of John Paul II outside Italy: to France (May 30-June 2).

June 2 John Paul II’s address to UNESCO in Paris.

June 21 Visit of President Jimmy Carter of the United States.

June 30 Seventh foreign pastoral visit: Brazil (June 30-July 12).

Aug. 8 For the first time John Paul II alludes to the events happening in Poland regarding Solidarnosc.

Sep. 26 Fifth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: “The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World.”

Sep. 28 Pastoral visit to Subiaco and meeting with the European bishops.

Oct. 17 Official visit of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and of H.R.H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Nov. 15 Eighth pastoral visit outside Italy: to West Germany (November 15-19).

Nov. 25 Pastoral visit to Capodichino (Naples), Potenza, Balvano, Avellino, after the earthquake.

Nov. 30 Second papal Encyclical “Dives in misericordia” (On the mercy of God), published December 2.

Dec. 19 Official visit of President Cviyetin Mijatovic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Dec. 30 Apostolic Letter proclaiming Sts. Cyril and Methodius, together with St. Benedict, co-patrons of Europe.



Feb. 2 John Paul II meets with Rome’s Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff, during his pastoral visit to the parish of Sts. Carlo e Biagio in Catinari.

Feb. 16 Ninth foreign pastoral visit: Pakistan, the Philippines, Guam (U.S.A.), Japan, and Anchorage (U.S.A.) (February 16-27).

May 13 At 5:19 p.m. Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca makes an attempt on the Pope’s life while he was circling St. Peter’s Square in a jeep before his Wednesday general audience. The Pope is brought to Gemelli Hospital where he undergoes a six-hour operation.

May 17 The Holy Father recites the angelus at Gemelli hospital: “Pray for the brother who shot me, whom I have sincerely forgiven.”

May 31 John Paul II creates the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See, following a meeting of the Sacred College, November 5-9, 1980.

June 3 The Pope returns to the Vatican after 22 days of recovery at Gemelli Hospital.

June 20 John Paul II is newly hospitalized for a cytomegalovirus infection. On August 5 he undergoes a second operation; leaves hospital definitively on August 14, returns to the Vatican, then goes to Castelgandolfo on August 16. He was in the hospital a total of 78 days between May 13 and August 14.

July 13 First meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See.

Sep. 14 Third papal Encyclical “Laborem exercens” (On human work).

Nov. 13 In an address to the 21st conference of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization John Paul II urges the elimination of “absolute poverty, … a condition in which life is so limited … as to be beneath any rational definition of human decency.”

Nov. 22 Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Familiaris Consortio” (On the Family),published on December 15.

Nov. 25 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Dec. 12 John Paul II sends delegates from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to the presidents of the U.S.A., USSR, Great Britain, France, and to the U.N., to explain their document on the eventual consequences of the use of nuclear arms in Europe and the world.

Dec. 13 John Paul II requests prayers for the Polish nation, calling the situation a state of emergency.



Jan. 6 Apostolic Letter “Caritatis Christi,” for the Church in China.

Feb. 12 10th foreign pastoral visit: Nigeria, Benin, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea (February 12-19).

Mar. 21 Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Church in China.

Apr. 1 John Paul II receives credentials of the first British ambassador to the Vatican since the reign of Henry VIII.

May 12 11th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Portugal, one year after the assassination attempt in St. Peter’s Square (May 12-15).

May 22 Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for justice and peace, and for peace between Argentina and Great Britain (over the Falkland Islands/Malvinas).

May 28 12th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Great Britain (May 28-June 2).

May 29 Joint statement of John Paul II and the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Robert Runcie, at the end of the ecumenical celebration in the Anglican Canterbury Cathedral. New Catholic-Anglican theological commission is announced.

June 7 John Paul II meets U.S. President Ronald Reagan for the first time; they pledge to work for world peace and justice.

June 10 13th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Argentina, in relation to the war between Argentina and Great Britain (June 10-13).

June 15 14th pastoral visit outside Italy: one-day trip to Geneva, Switzerland. John Paul II addresses the 68th session of the International Labor Conference.

Aug. 2 The Holy See announces diplomatic relations with Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Aug. 29 15th pastoral visit outside Italy, and 28th within Italy: one-day trip to the Republic of San Marino and to Rimini, Italy.

Sep. 15 Private meeting with Yasser Arafat on the prospects for peace in the Middle East. Renewed appeal for peace in Lebanon, after the murder of president-elect Bechir Gemayel.

Oct. 10 Canonization of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe. Present at the canonization ceremony was Mr. Franciszek Gajownizek, the man for whom Fr. Maximilian offered his life in the concentration camp at Auschwitz.

Oct. 19 Meeting with Italian President Sandro Pertini, at Castelporziano.

Oct. 28 Official visit of President Karl Carstens of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Oct. 31 16th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Spain, for the closure of the 4th Centenary of the death of St. Teresa of Avila (October 31-November 9).

Nov. 9 Message to the peoples of Europe from the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Nov. 23 Second plenary session of the College of Cardinals: principle topic is the reform of the Roman Curia (November 23-26).

Nov. 26 John Paul II announces the Holy Year of Redemption: from Lent 1983 to Easter 1984.



Jan. 6 Papal Bull “Aperite Portas Redemptori,” announcing the Jubilee for the 1950th anniversary of the Redemption.

Jan. 25 John Paul II’s Pastoral Constitution “Sacrae Disciplinae Leges,” for the promulgation of the new Code of Canon Law.

Jan. 25 Promulgation of the new Code of Canon Law by John Paul II.

Feb. 2 Second consistory of John Paul II for the creation of 18 cardinals.

Mar. 2 17th pastoral visit outside Italy: Lisbon, Portugal, and Central America – Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and Haiti (March 2-10).

Mar. 24 John Paul II accepts credentials of the ambassador from Sweden, re-establishing diplomatic relations after 456 years.

Mar. 25 Opening of the Holy Year of the Redemption (March 25, 1983-April 22, 1984).

Mar. 25 The Shroud of Turin is bequeathed to the Pope by the deposed King Umberto, whose family owned it since the Middle Ages.

June 16 18th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Poland (June 16-23).

July 8 Beatification of Fra Angelico.

Aug. 14 19th pastoral visit outside Italy: Lourdes, France (August 14-15).

Sep. 10 20th foreign pastoral visit: Austria (September 10-13).

Sep. 29 Sixth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on: “Penance and Reconciliation in the Mission of the Church” (September

29-October 29). At the final session Pope discloses his message to the heads of government of the U.S.A. and USSR calling for negotiations aimed at ending the arms race.

Oct. 16 Act of entrustment and consecration of the world to Our Lady of Fatima by John Paul II, together with the cardinals and bishops participating in the Synod of Bishops.

Nov. 5 Letter for the 500th anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther.

Nov. 24 Publication of the “Charter of Rights of the Family.”

Dec. 11 First papal visit to a Lutheran congregation, participating in a prayer service at the evangelical Lutheran Church of Rome.

Dec. 27 Visit to Rebibbia prison and meeting with Ali Agca, the Turk who made an attempt on his life on May 13, 1981.



Jan. 10 Full diplomatic relations at the level of apostolic nunciature and embassy between the Holy See and the United States of America.

Feb. 11 Pastoral Letter “Salvific Doloris” (On the Christian Meaning of Suffering).

Feb. 18 Agreement between the Holy See and the Italian Republic on the revision of the Lateran Concordat: new Concordat signed.

Feb. 22 John Paul II erects the Foundation for the Sahel.

Mar. 25 In spiritual union with all the bishops of the world John Paul II repeats the act of entrustment of mankind and all peoples to Mary Most Holy, made at Fatima on May 13, 1982.

Mar. 25 Apostolic Exhortation “Redemptionis Donum,” to all men and women religious, published on March 29.

Apr. 9 Additional appointments to the Roman Curia: broad renovation of responsibilities of dicasteries and commissions.

Apr. 20 Apostolic Letter “Redemptionis Anno” (on the City of Jerusalem, sacred patrimony of all believers and crossroads of peace for the peoples of the Middle East).

Apr. 22 Conclusion of the Holy Year of Redemption 1983/84.

May 2 21st pastoral visit outside Italy: Korea, Papua-New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Thailand (May 2-12).

May 5 Apostolic Letter “Les Grands Mysteres,” on the problem of Lebanon.

May 21 Official visit of Italian President Sandro Pertini, to John Paul II.

June 2 Official visit of John Paul II to the president of Italy.

June 12 22nd pastoral visit outside Italy: Switzerland (June 12-17).

July 7 John Paul II denounces apartheid in South Africa.

July 16 Visit of John Paul II to the massif of Adamello and meeting with Italian President Pertini (July 16-17).

Sep. 3 Publication of the Instruction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Certain Aspects of Liberation Theology.

Sep. 9 23rd foreign pastoral visit: Canada (September 9-2).

Oct. 2 John Paul II tells the Pontifical Academy of Sciences that space belongs to all humanity and that satellites and other space vehicles should be regulated by just international agreements.

Oct. 11 24th pastoral visit outside Italy: Zaragoza, Spain; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and San Juan, Puerto Rico (October 10-13).

Nov. 2 46th Italian trip: northern Italy (Milan, Varese, Pavia, Varallo, Arona) for the 4th centenary of the death of St. Charles Borromeo (November 2-4).

Dec. 11 Publication of the Post-Synodal Pastoral Exhortation “Reconciliatio and Poenitentia.”



Jan. 26 25th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad-Tobago (January 26-February).

Feb. 11 John Paul II establishes Pontifical Commission for the Apostolate of Health Care Workers.

Feb 19 Special audience with Israeli Prime Minister Simon Peres.

Feb. 27 Second official visit of USSR Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko.

Mar. 26 Apostolic Letter “To the Youth of the World” on the occasion of the United Nation’s International Year of Youth.

Mar. 30 First International Youth Meeting in Rome (March 30-31).

Apr. 11 Pastoral visit of John Paul II to Loreto and meeting with Italian Bishops.

May 9 John Paul II declares venerable Fr. Junipero Serra (1713-1784, Franciscan missionary in California.

May 11 26th pastoral visit outside Italy: Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium (May 11-21).

May 25 Third consistory of John Paul II for the creation of 28 new cardinals.

June 2 Fourth papal Encyclical “Slavorum Apostoli,” published on July 2.

July 7 Holy Mass in the Pauline Chapel of the Vatican for the people of

Czechoslovakia, in remembrance of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.

Aug. 8 27th pastoral visit outside Italy: Togo, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Republic of Central Africa, Zaire, Kenya, Morocco (August 8-19).

Aug. 29 John Paul II announces the opening to historians of the secret archives of the papacies of St. Pius X (1903-14) and Benedict XV (1914-22).

Sept. 9 28th pastoral visit outside Italy: Kloten, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.

Oct. 4 Official visit of President Francesco Cossiga of Italy.

Nov. 17 Personal message of the Pope to Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbaciov for the Geneva summit.

Nov. 21 Third Plenary Meeting of the College of Cardinals on the reform of the Roman Curia (November 21-23).

Nov. 25 Second Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on: “The Twentieth Anniversary of the Conclusion of the Second Vatican Council” (November 25-December 8).



Jan. 18 Official visit of Italian President Francesco Cossiga.

Jan. 31 29th pastoral visit outside Italy: India (January 31- February 10).

Feb. 19 Private audience with President Amin Gemayel of Lebanon.

Mar. 6 Official visit of Governor General of Canada, Jeanne Sauve.

Apr. 5 Publication of the Instruction “Libertatis conscientia” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on Christian freedom and liberation.

Apr. 13 John Paul II makes an unprecedented visit to Rome’s main synagogue, the oldest Jewish group in the Diaspora; prays with Rabbi Elio Toaff and Giacomo Saban, president of Rome’s Jewish community.

May 18 Fifth Papal Encyclical “Dominum et Vivificantem” (On the Holy Spirit), published on May 30.

June 3 The international “John XXIII Award for Peace” is given by John Paul II to the Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees of Thailand.

July 1 30th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Colombia and Santa Lucia (July 1-8).

July 15 Publication of the new “Enchiridion Indulgentiarum” (manual of indulgences).

Aug. 4 John Paul II presides over funeral for Cardinal Carlo Confalonieri, dean of the College of Cardinals, who died on August 1.

Aug. 26 Apostolic Letter “Augustinum Hipponensem” for the 16th centenary of the conversion of St. Augustine.

Oct. 4 31st pastoral visit outside Italy: France (East-Central region, October 4-7).

Oct. 27 John Paul II attends the First World Day of Prayer for Peace which he convened in Assisi with some 60 representatives of the main Christian and non-Christian religions.

Oct. 31 Official visit of President Paul Biya of the Republic of Cameroon. Nov. 18 32nd pastoral visit outside Italy: to Bangladesh, Singapore, Fiji Islands, New Zealand, Australia and Seychelles (November 18-December 1).



Jan. 13 Special audience with President of the Council of the People’s Republic of Poland, General Wojciech Jaruzelski.

Jan. 19 Private meeting with Jordan’s King Hussein about the situation in the Middle East.

Feb. 22 Instruction of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith on respect for human life.

Mar. 25 Sixth Papal Encyclical “Redemptoris Mater,” (Mother of the Redeemer), describing the Virgin Mary’s life as an image of obedience and a model of “femininity with dignity.”

Mar. 31 33rd pastoral visit outside Italy: to Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina: celebration in Buenos Aires of the Second World Youth Day (March 31- April 13).

Apr. 30 34th pastoral visit outside Italy: to the Federal Republic of Germany (April 30-May 4).

June 6 Official visit of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

June 6 On the vigil of Pentecost: Solemn opening of the Marian Year (June 7- August 15).

June 8 35th pastoral visit outside Italy: Poland (June 8-14).

June 25 Official visit of President Kurt Waldheim of the Federal Republic of Austria.

June 28 Celebration of the 7th centenary of the evangelization of Lithuania.

July 8 First visit of John Paul II to the Dolomites (Lorenzago di Cadore), in northern Italy, for a rest (July 8-14).

Sep. 10 36th pastoral visit outside Italy: to U.S.A. and Canada (Fort Simpson) (September 10-21).

Oct. 1 Seventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on: “The Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World”.

Dec. 3 His Holiness Dimitrios, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, visits John Paul II (December 3-7).

Dec. 11 Official visit with President Raul Ricardo Alfonsin of the Republic of Argentina.

Dec. 30 Seventh Papal Encyclical “Sollicitudo Rei Socialis” (On Social Concerns), published February 19, 1988. It criticized economic and political ideologies of the West and the East.



Jan. 25 John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter “Euntes in Mundum,” for the millennium of the Baptism of Kievan RuÑ’, published March 22.

Mar. 3 First publication of the financial report of the Holy See (for the year 1986) and the estimated budget for the year 1988.

May 7 37th pastoral visit of John Paul II outside Italy: to Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru (May 7-19).

May 21 Inauguration of the “Dono di Maria” shelter in the Vatican, entrusted to Mother Teresa’s Missionary Sisters of Charity.

June 13 Delegation to Moscow led by Secretary of State Cardinal Casaroli for the celebrations of the Millennium of Kievan RuÑ’.

June 18 Official visit of President Corazon Aquino of the Republic of the Philippines.

June 23 38th pastoral visit outside Italy: Austria (June 23-27).

June 28 Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus” for the reform of the Roman Curia.

June 28 Fourth consistory of John Paul II for the creation of 25 new cardinals.

July 2 Motu Proprio “Ecclesia Dei,” establishing a commission “to be instituted … to collaborate with the bishops, with the Departments of the Roman Curia, … for the purpose of facilitating full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities or individuals until now linked to the Fraternity founded by Mons. Lefevbre, who may wish to remain united to the Successor of Peter in the Catholic Church.”

July 4 Special audience with the prince and grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, H.H. Fra Andrew W.N. Bertie.

July 10 Solemn liturgy in the Byzantine-Ukrainian Rite in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Millennium of the Baptism of Kievan Rus’.

Aug. 15 Solemn conclusion of Marian Year in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Sep. 10 39th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland (September 10-20).

Sep. 30 Publication of the Apostolic Letter “Mulieris Dignitatem” (On the Dignity and Vocation of Women).

Oct. 8 40th pastoral visit outside Italy: to the European Institutions of Strasbourg and to the dioceses of Strasbourg, Metz and Nancy, France (October 8-11).

Nov. 19 Visit with President Ciriaco De Mita of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic.

Dec. 30 Apostolic Exhortation “Christifideles Laici.”

JPII-PONTIFICATE/OVERVIEW 1978-88/… VIS 981014 (3770)

VATICAN CITY, OCT 15, 1998 (VIS) – Concluding our overview of the 20-year pontificate of Pope John Paul II, today we present a synthesis of th important events of the years 1989-98:



Mar. 8 Meeting of John Paul II and members of the Roman Curia with the metropolitan archbishops of the United States of America on the theme: “Evangelization in the Context of the Culture and Society of the United States with particular emphasis on the Role of the Bishop as Teacher of the Faith” (March 8-11).

Mar. 10 Reorganization of the pastoral government of the dioceses in Lithuania.

Apr. 20 Official visit of President Patrick J. Hillery of Ireland.

Apr. 28 41st pastoral visit outside Italy: Madagascar, La Reunion, Zambia and Malawi (April 28-May 6).

May 27 Official visit of U.S. President George Bush.

June 1 42nd pastoral trip outside Italy: Norway, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden (June 1-10).

July 17 Restoration of diplomatic relations between Poland and the Holy See.

Aug. 15 Angelus message in which the Pope reveals his wish to personally go to Lebanon as soon as possible.

Aug. 19 43rd papal trip abroad: to Santiago de Compostela for Fourth World Youth Day, and to the Asturias (August 19-21).

Aug. 27 Apostolic Letter on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War.

Sept. 7 Appeal to the followers of Islam in favor of Lebanon.

Sept. 7 Apostolic Letter to all Bishops of the Catholic Church on the situation in Lebanon. World Day of Prayer for Peace in Lebanon.

Sept. 29 Official visit of Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie.

Oct. 2 Joint statement of John Paul II and Archbishop Runcie.

Oct. 6 44th foreign pastoral visit: Seoul (Korea), Indonesia and Mauritius (October 6-10).

Nov. 13 Meeting of the diocesan bishops of the Federal Republic of Germany with the Holy Father on the theme: “Handing the faith to the next generation and the pastoral work of catechesis.”

Dec. 1 Official visit of President Mikhail Gorbaciov of the USSR: marks the first time a Pope has met with the head of the Soviet government.

Dec. 21 New appointment of bishops in Czechoslovakia.



Jan. 25 45th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Chad (January 25-February 1).

Mar. 15 Exchange of official representatives at the level of apostolic nuncio and special ambassador between the Holy See and the Soviet government.

Apr. 21 46th pastoral visit outside Italy: Czechoslovakia.

Apr. 22 John Paul II announces in Velehrad a Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops.

Apr. 27 Official visit of President Mario Soares of Portugal.

May 6 47th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Mexico and Curacao (May 6-14).

May 25 48th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Malta.

Aug. 26 During his angelus message John Paul II appeals for peace in the Persian Gulf, following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq.

Sept. 1 49th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Ivory Coast (September 1-10).

Sept. 30 Eighth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: “The Formation of Priests in Circumstances of the Present Day” (September 30-October 28).

Oct. 18 Promulgation of Code of Canons for Eastern Churches.

Nov. 24 “Ad limina” visit of Vietnamese bishops: for the first time all bishops are present.

Dec. 1 John Paul II accepts the resignation of Cardinal Secretary of State Agostino Casaroli and appoints Archbishop Angelo Sodano pro-secretary of State.

Dec. 21 Vatican Information Service transmits first bulletin in English and Spanish: destined for bishops and nuncios.

Dec. 25 From “Urbi et Orbi” message: “War is an adventure with no return.” Papal appeal for peace in Persian Gulf.



Jan. 15 Letter of John Paul II to U.S. President George Bush and to President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, in an attempt to deter a Gulf War.

Jan. 17 Start of Gulf War.

Feb. 5 Official visit of President Lech Walesa of the Polish Republic.

Feb. 28 End of Gulf War.

Mar. 4 Meeting at the Vatican of episcopal representatives from the countries directly implicated in the Gulf War.

Apr. 4 Fourth Plenary Meeting of the College of Cardinals on the theme: “The Church facing the threat against human life and the challenge of the sects.”

Apr. 8 Meeting of the presidents of Episcopal Conferences (April 8-9), concerning the economic problems of the Holy See and the financial contribution of the bishops (Canon 1271, CIC).

Apr. 13 Reorganization of the Latin-Rite Catholic Church in the Soviet Republics of Belarus, Russia and Kazakistan.

Apr. 22 Official visit of the President of the Republic of Chile, Patricio Aylwuin Azocar.

Apr. 29 Meeting of Swiss bishops with the Holy Father and the Roman Curia.

May 1 Papal encyclical “Centesimus Annus” (The Hundreth Year), commemorating 100 years of papal social teaching, beginning with Leo XIII’s “Rerum Novarum” of 1891.

May 3 Official visit of King Carl Gustav XVI of Sweden, and Queen Silvia.

May 10 50th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Portugal (May 10-13).

June 1 51st pastoral visit outside Italy: to Poland (June 1-9).

June 12 Announcement of a Special Assembly for Lebanon of the Synod of Bishops.

June 28 Fifth consistory of John Paul II for the creation of 22 new cardinals: named revealed of 1979 “in pectore,” Cardinal Ignatius Kung Pin-Mei.

Aug. 13 52nd pastoral visit outside Italy: to Czestochowa (Poland) for the 6th World Youth Day and to Hungary (August 13-20).

Sept. 7 Holy See and Albania establish diplomatic ties.

Oct. 5 Ecumenical prayer service at St. Peter’s Basilica, on the occasion of the 6th centenary of the canonization of St. Brigit of Sweden. For the first time since the Reformation, two Lutheran bishops prayed in St. Peter’s Basilica with the Pope, together with the Catholic bishops of Stockholm and Helsinki.

Oct. 12 53rd pastoral visit outside Italy: to Brazil (October 12-21).

Nov. 28 Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: “So that we might be witnesses of Christ who has set us free,” (November 28-December 14).

Dec. 12 Ecumenical prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica, on the occasion of the Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops.



Jan. 1 Holy See recognizes Russian Federation.

Jan. 12 Holy See recognizes sovereignty of Croatia and Slovenia.

Jan. 27 Pope creates Assemblee des Ordinaires Catholiques de Terre Sainte.

Feb. 8 Diplomatic relations with Croatia, Slovenia, Ukraine.

Feb. 19 54th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Senegal, Gambia and Guinea (February 19-26).

Mar. 7 Promulgation of new General Regulations of the Roman Curia.

Mar. 11 Diplomatic relations with Kingdom of Swaziland.

Mar. 19 Trip to Sorrento, Castellamare di Stabia, Italy.

Mar. 25 Restructuring of Church in Poland.

Apr. 4 Diplomatic relations with Mongolia.

Apr. 7 Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Pastores Dabo Vobis” (Shepherds I give you).

Apr. 9 “Populorum Progressio” Foundation made public.

Apr. 30 102nd trip within Italy: Friuli region (to May 3).

May 13 Pope John Paul institutes World Day for the Ill, to be celebrated annually on February 11.

May 17 Beatification of Jose Maria Escriva de Balaguer, the founder of Opus Dei, and of Giuseppina Bakhita of Sudan.

May 23 103rd trip within Italy – Campania. Diplomatic relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova.

May 25 Visit to Pope by Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury George Leonard Carey.

June 1 First “ad limina” of Bulgarian Episcopal Conference. Diplomatic relations with Republic of Nauru.

June 4 55th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Angola and Sao Tome and Principe (June 4-10).

June 19 104th trip in Italy: Lombardy (to June 21).

June 30 5,000th day of Pope John Paul’s pontificate, which began October 22, 1978.

July 12 At the angelus John Paul II announces that he will go to Gemelli Hospital that evening for diagnostic tests.

July 15 Holy Father undergoes colic resection surgery. His gallbladder is

removed due to gallstones. John Paul II is released from Gemelli Polyclinic on July 26.

July 29 Holy See-Israel working commission formed.

Aug. 22 Dramatic appeal for peace in the Balkans at angelus.

Sep. 21 Diplomatic relations between Holy See and Mexico.

Oct. 9 56th pastoral visit outside Italy: Santo Domingo, for the 5th centenary of evangelization of Latin America and Fourth General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate (October 9-14).

Oct. 17 Diplomatic relations with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan.

Nov. 6 First “ad limina” by Slovenia’s bishops.

Nov. 11 Diplomatic relations with Belarus.

Nov. 16 Apostolic Constitution “Fidei Depositum,” for new catechism, is made public; Catechism of the Catholic Church presented in Paris.

Nov. 27 Official visit of President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro of the Italian Republic.

Dec. 7 John Paul II officially presents the Catechism of the Catholic Church to representatives from the Roman Curia and to the presidents of doctrinal and catechetical commissions of episcopal conferences. Dec. 25 Bishops of Albania appointed.



Jan. 1 Holy See recognizes Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.

Jan. 9 At Assisi, special prayer meeting for peace in Europe and particularly in the Balkans (January 9-10).

Jan. 21 Official visit of Giuliano Amato, president of the council of ministers of the Republic of Italy.

Jan. 25 Pope announces new Ecumenical Directory.

Feb. 3 57th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Benin, Uganda and Khartoum (February 3-10). John Paul II announces that the synod for Africa will be held in the Vatican in 1994.

Feb. 11 1st World Day of the Sick.

Feb. 19 Official visit of President Milan Kacan of Slovenia.

Feb. 23 Motu Proprio “Europae Orientalis” with which Permanent Interdicastery Commission for the Church in Eastern Europe substitutes Pontifical Commission for Russia.

Mar. 19 Trip to Sabina-Poggio-Mirteto, Italy.

Apr. 25 58th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Albania. John Paul II ordains 4 bishops, restoring the hierarchy in a country that once declared itself officially atheist.

May 4 Pontifical Councils for Culture and for Dialogue with non-believers are joined: name is Pontifical Council for Culture.

May 8 Start of three-day trip to Sicily, Italy.

May 23 Pastoral trip to Arezzo.

May 29 Conclusion of the second Rome diocesan synod.

June 1 Church re-structured in Hungary.

June 4 “Centesimus Annus Pro Pontefice” Foundation announced.

June 8 First ambassador from Romania presents credentials.

June 9 Orthodox patriarch of Ethiopia received by Pope.

June 12 59th pastoral visit outside Italy: to Spain (June 12-17).

June 19 Trip to Macerata, Foligno, Gran Sasso, Italy. Ends June 20.

Aug. 6 Papal encyclical “Veritatis Splendor”; published October 5, 1993.

Aug. 9 60th foreign pastoral visit: Jamaica, Merida and Denver, for 8th World Youth Day (August 9-16).

Sept. 3 Holy Father receives Emperor Akihito of Japan.

Sept. 4 61st pastoral visit outside Italy: to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia (September 4-10). First ever visit by a Pope to these countries.

Sept.23 John Paul II receives Mikhail Gorbachev.

Sept.25 Trip to Asti, Italy. Ends Sept. 26.

Oct. 16 15th anniversary of Holy Father’s election.

Nov. 5 Lebanon’s President Elias Hrawi on visit; invites Pope to his country.

Nov. 11 Pope dislocates his right shoulder during a fall at the end of an audience in the Hall of Benediction. He spent one day at Gemelli Hospital; his shoulder is immobilized for one month.

Dec. 13 South Africa’s President De Klerk visits Pope.

Dec. 16 Official visit of President Carlos Saul Menem of Argentina.

Dec. 26 Opening of the International Year of the Family of the Catholic Church.

Dec. 30 Signing of the accord on basic principles regulating diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel.



Jan. 1 Motu Proprio “Socialium scientiarum” establishing Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

Jan. 6 Letter to the Italian bishops on the responsibilities of Catholics facing the challenge of the present historic situation.

Jan. 11 “Directives Concerning the Preparation of Seminary Educators” is released by Congregation for Catholic Education.

Jan. 26 Diplomatic relations with Federated States of Micronesia.

Feb. 2 Letter of John Paul II to Families, on the occasion of the International Year of the Family.

Feb. 11 Motu Proprio “Vitae Mysterium” establishes Pontifical Academy for Life.

Feb. 16 Diplomatic relations with Republic of Suriname.

Mar. 3 Official visit of President Richard von Weizsacker of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Mar. 3 Diplomatic relations with Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Mar. 5 Diplomatic relations with Republic of South Africa.

Mar. 7 Official visit of President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic.

Mar. 17 Israeli Prime Minister Rabin visits Pope.

Mar. 19 Letter of John Paul II to heads of states around the world and to the secretary general of the United Nations regarding the International Conference on Population and Development at Cairo, to be held in September 1994.

Mar. 25 Diplomatic relations established with Cambodia.

Apr. 7 Vatican concert for the commemoration of the Shoah, in the presence of John Paul II and Chief Rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff.

Apr. 8 John Paul II celebrates mass in the Sistine Chapel for the unveiling of the restored frescoes of Michelangelo.

Apr. 10 Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: “The Church in Africa and Her Evangelizing Mission Towards the Year 2000: ‘You Shall Be My Witnesses'” (April 10-May 8).

Apr. 28 Holy Father falls, breaks femur. Goes to Gemelli Hospital the morning of April 29.

May 8 Concluding mass for synod of Africa.

May 10 Holy Father institutes cloistered monastery within Vatican.

May 22 Apostolic Letter to the bishops: “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” (On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone).

June 2 Pope receives President Bill Clinton of the United States.

June 10 Diplomatic relations with Western Samoa.

June 13 Fifth plenary meeting of the College of Cardinals, with John Paul II participating, in preparation for the Jubilee of the Third Millennium (June 13-14).

June 15 Diplomatic relations at the level of apostolic nunciature and embassy between the Holy See and the State of Israel.

July 20 Diplomatic relations with Vanuatu.

July 24 Diplomatic relations with Kingdom of Tonga.

Sept. 5 Holy See delegation attends the International Conference on Population and Development, in Cairo from September 5-13.

Sept. 8 John Paul offers mass at Castelgandolfo for Bosnia-Herzegovina, after cancelling his planned visit to Sarajevo.

Sept. 10 62nd pastoral visit outside Italy: to Zagreb, Croatia (September 10-11).

Sept. 17 Start of two day trip to Lecce, Italy.

Sept. 29 Pope receives first Israeli ambassador to Holy See.

Oct. 2 Ninth general assembly of the Synod of Bishops: “The Consecrated Life and Its Role in the church and in the World” (October 2-29).

Oct. 8 International Meeting of Families with the Holy Father honoring the International Year of the Family.

Oct. 20 Publication of Pope John Paul’s book “Crossing the Threshold of Hope”: 21 languages, 35 countries.

Oct. 25 Beginning of working contacts of “permanent and official character” between the Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organization, with a PLO office of representation to the Holy See and the nuncio of Tunisia responsible for contacts with the PLO.

Nov. 4 John Paul II visits Catania and Siracusa, Sicily. Ends Nov. 6: 117th trip within Italy.

Nov. 10 Apostolic Letter “Tertio Millennio Adveniente” to Bishops, Clergy and Lay Faithful on the Preparation for the Jubilee of the Year 2000.

Nov. 19 First ambassador from Jordan received.

Nov. 26 Sixth Consistory of John Paul II for the creation of 30 new cardinals, from 24 countries.

Dec. 9 “Women, Teachers of Peace” – Message for 1995 World Day of Peace – is made public.

Dec. 15 Letter to Children in the Year of the Family.

Dec. 18 Pope John Paul named Man of the Year by TIME Magazine.

Dec. 21 Diplomatic ties established with Macedonia.



Jan. 11 63rd pastoral visit outside Italy: to Manila, the Philippines, for the celebration of 10th World Youth Day; to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Sydney, Australia; and Colombo, Sri Lanka. January 11-21.

Jan. 14 Message to Chinese Catholics, broadcast over Radio Veritas in Manila.

Feb. 4 Audience for Malta’s President Mifsud Bonnici.

Feb. 17 Visit by Paraguayan President Carlos Wasmosy.

Mar. 16 Audience for Iraqi Vice Prime Minister Tariq Aziz.

Mar. 17 Audience for Foreign Affairs Minister Vladislav Jovanovic of Yugoslavia.

Mar. 19 Trip to Molise region: 119th within Italy.

Mar. 24 President Sixto Duran-Ballen of Ecuador on visit.

Mar. 25 11th Encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” (“The Gospel of Life”). Made public on March 30.

Mar. 28 Audience for Romanian President Ion Illiescu.

Apr. 29 Two-day pastoral visit to Trent, Italy: 450th anniversary of start of Council of Trent and beatification of John Nepomucene. 120th trip within Italy.

May 2 Apostolic Letter “Orientale Lumen” for the centenary of “Orientalium Dignitas” of Pope Leo XIII.

May 8 Message on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the End of the Second World War in Europe.

May 19 Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Al Shara’a on visit.

May 20 Three-day pastoral visit to Czech Republic: 64th outside of Italy.

May 25 “Ut Unum Sint” (“That All May be One”), 12th papal encyclical. Published May 30.

May 26 Message to Gertrude Mongella, secretary general of U.N.’s Fourth World Conference on Women, scheduled for September in Beijing, China. Visit by President Kiro Gligorov of ex-Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

June 3 Two-day trip to Belgium is 65th pastoral visit outside Italy: beatification of Fr. Damien de Veuster.

June 11 Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for anniversary of end of World War II.

June 27 Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I welcomed to Vatican.

June 29 Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles. Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy Father give homilies in St. Peter’s Basilica, and sign Common Declaration. Letter to Women (made public on July 10).

June 30 66th pastoral visit outside Italy: Slovak Republic.

July 12 121st trip within Italy: Les Combes for vacation.

July 17 Theme announced for Jubilee Year 2000: “Jesus Christ – Yesterday, Today, Always.”

Aug 29 Audience for Mary Ann Glendon, head of delegation, and other members of Holy See delegation to UN Conference on Women, Beijing,

September 4-15.

Sep. 2 Audience for Yasser Arafat.

Sep. 9 Two-day visit to Loreto on the occasion of the pilgrimage of European youth. 122nd Italian trip. Sep. 14 67th foreign pastoral visit: to Africa for conclusion of Synod for Africa, Sep. 14-20. In Yaounde, Cameroon, the signing of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in Africa,” the first time a document is signed outside the Vatican.

Oct. 4 68th pastoral visit outside Italy: to the USA (New York, Newark, Brooklyn, Baltimore). On Rome-NY flight, Pope crosses the 1 million kilometer mark.

Oct. 5 Address to United Nations General Assembly, commemorating 50th anniversary of founding of U.N.

Nov. 16 Apostolic Letter for the Fourth Centenary of the Union of Brest.

Nov. 17 Audience for President Carlos Alberto Reina of Honduras.

Nov. 23 One-day visit to Palermo, Sicily. 123rd trip within Italy.

Nov. 26 Opening Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for Special Assembly for Lebanon of the Synod of Bishops.

Dec. 8 Entrusts Rome with Citizens’ Mission for the Jubilee Year.

Dec. 15 Receives Leah Rabin, widow of Yitzhak Rabin.



Jan. 20: State visit of French President Jacques Chirac.

Feb. 1: First official visit by a Mexican head of state: President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon.

Feb. 5: Departure for Latin America, 69th foreign visit: Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Venezuela. Until February 12.

Feb. 22: Apostolic Constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis,” On the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff.

Mar. 28: Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Vita Consecrata.”

Mar. 30: Trip to Siena: 124th within Italy.

Apr. 14: One-day visit to Tunis: 70th foreign trip.

Apr. 19: Crown Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan received in audience.

May 4: Two-day trip to Como: 125th in Italy.

May 17: 71st trip abroad: to Slovenia, through May 19.

May 25: Audience for President Julio Maria Sanguinetti of Uruguay.

June 21: Departure for Germany, 72nd foreign trip. Until June 23.

July 4: Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi received in audience.

July 6: “Moleben” in St. Peter’s Basilica for 4th centenary of Union of Brest.

July 7: Presides at liturgy in St. Peter’s in Byzantine-Ukrainian rite for celebrations of 4th centenary of Union of Brest.

July 10: Departure for Dolomite mountain vacation in Lorenzago di Cadore. Until July 23. 126th trip within Italy.

Sep. 6: Start of second papal trip to Hungary, and 73rd foreign apostolic visit. September 6-7.

Sep. 19: Departure for France on 74th foreign trip. To September 22.

Oct. 8: Undergoes appendectomy at Gemelli Polyclinic. Returns to Vatican on October 15.

Nov. 1: John Paul II marks 50 years of priestly ordination.

Nov. 7: Four days of jubilee celebrations commence.

Nov. 13: Address to World Food Summit at FAO headquarters, Rome.

Nov. 15: Presentation of book: “Gift and Mystery: On the 50th Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination.”

Nov. 18: Audience for Mikhail Gorbachev.

Nov. 19: Audience with President Fidel Castro of Cuba. Pope accepts invitation to visit in January, 1998.

Dec. 3: Message to the Church Which is in China.

Dec. 4: Visit by His Grace George Leonard Carey, archbishop of Canterbury and primate of the Anglican Communion.

Dec. 5: Publication of Apostolic Epistle “Operosam Diem,” to the faithful of the Milan archdiocese on the 16th centenary of the death of St. Ambrose.

Dec. 6: Common Declaration signed by Pope, Anglican primate.

Dec. 10: Visit of His Holiness Karekin I Sarkassian, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

Dec. 13: Pope, Catholicos sign Common Declaration.



Jan. 14 Pope receives Lien Chan, vice president and prime minister of the Republic of China.

Jan. 25 Meeting in Vatican with His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenians. Signing of Common Declaration.

Feb. 3 Visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Feb. 14 President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, first official visit to the Vatican by a Brazilian head of State.

Mar. 10 Ireland’s President Mary Robinson received by Holy Father.

Mar. 10 Holy See, Libya establish diplomatic ties.

Mar. 12 Letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on situation in Zaire.

Mar. 20 Visit by Jose Maria Aznar, president of Spanish government.

Apr. 12 Two-day trip to Sarajevo: 75th foreign pastoral visit.

Apr. 15 John Paul II welcomes U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Apr. 25 Start of three-day pastoral visit to Czech Republic: 76th foreign trip.

May 10 Departure for two-day trip to Lebanon: 77th foreign pastoral trip.

May 16 Audience with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze.

May 18 Pope John Paul celebrates 77th birthday.

May 31 Departure for Poland; until June 10. Is Pope’s 78th foreign pastoral visit.

June 9 Diplomatic Relations with Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

June 16 President Alberto Fujimori of Peru welcomed to Vatican. Pope writes letters to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority, in which he expressed concern for interrupted dialogue in Middle East peace process.

June 24 Letter to Cardinal John Baptist Wu Cheng-chung, bishop of Hong Kong, on the occasion of the scheduled July 1 return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty.

July 8 Holy See, Angola establish diplomatic relations.

July 17 Holy See approved as Observer to World Trade Organization.

July 18 Letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin in which Pope expresses concern about a bill submitted to the Russian parliament “concerning freedom of conscience and religious associations.”

July 22 Holy See signs United Nations conventional weapons ban.

Aug. 21 Departure for Paris for 12th World Youth Day. This four-day trip is Holy Father’s 79th foreign visit.

Sep. 6 Telegram for the death yesterday in Calcutta, India, of Mother Teresa.

Sep. 8 Apostolic Constitution “Laetamur magnopere,” with which the Holy Father approved and promulgated the official Latin version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Sep. 27 Pope travels to Bologna, Italy, to participate in 23rd National

Eucharistic Congress. Until Sept. 28.

Oct. 2 Departure for four-day visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for Second World Meeting with Families. 80th foreign trip.

Oct. 11 Meeting with President Carlos Saul Menem of Argentina.

Oct. 16 19th anniversary of John Paul II’s election to the papacy.

Oct. 19 Pope proclaims St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as Therese of the Child Jesus, Doctor of the Church. She is the 33rd person, the third woman (with St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa of Avila), and the youngest Doctor.

Oct. 22 Anniversary of start of Pope John Paul’s pontificate as he enters his 20th year.

Nov. 16 Pope inaugurates Synod for America, presides at Eucharistic concelebration in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Nov. 26 Audience with Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek.

Dec. 4 Holy See signs Convention banning land mines, offers $100,000 to victims.

Dec. 20 Papal letter to Cuban people on the occasion of Christmas and his forthcoming trip to their country.



Jan. 15 Communique announces Holy See-Palestinian Mixed Commission.

Jan. 16 Holy See and Patriarchate of Moscow issue joint communique after annual meeting.

Jan. 17 Holy See remits excommunication of Fr. Tissa Balasuriya, O.M.I.

Jan. 18 Pope names 20 new cardinals, announces another two “in pectore.”

Jan. 21 John Paul II leaves for Cuba, on his 81st pastoral visit outside of Italy. Until January 26.

Jan. 22 Fidel Castro and Pope meet in Havana.

Feb. 1 Holy Father visits Roman family in their home.

Feb. 2 Pope John Paul presents new Apostolic Constitution “Ecclesia in Urbe” to Cardinal Ruini, vicar of Rome. Also, the celebration of the Second Day for Consecrated Life.

Feb. 7 Pope presides at funeral mass for Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. First ambassador of Angola presents credentials.

Feb. 10 John Paul II receives President Boris Yeltsin of Russia.

Feb. 15 Holy See nuncio to U.N., Archbishop Renato Martino, conveys papal message to Secretary General Kofi Annan, encouraging him to undertake trip to Iraq to attempt to solve crisis which developed there in recent weeks.

Feb. 16 First ambassador from Libya received.

Feb. 17 Holy See ratifies land mine convention.

Feb. 21 Consistory to create 20 new cardinals; is the seventh of John Paul II’s pontificate.

Mar. 7 Audience granted to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Mar. 10 The Congregations for Catholic Education and for the Clergy present a book containing the documents: “Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons,” and “The Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons.”

Mar. 14 Pope signs Letter returning liturgical faculties to Syro-Malabar Church.

Mar. 16 Presentation of Holy See document, “We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah.”

Mar. 21 Holy Father leaves for Nigeria, 82nd foreign pastoral trip.

Mar. 26 Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran leaves on visit to Jordan and Yemen.

Mar. 27 Pope receives Cuban Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina Gonzales.

Apr. 2 Audiences for Fares Bouez and Amre Moussa, respectively foreign ministers of Lebanon and Egypt.

Apr. 16 Presentation of the volume “Serving the Human Family: The Holy See at the Major United Nations Conferences,” produced by the Holy See Permanent Observer Mission to the U.N. in New York.

Apr. 19 Opening of Synod for Asia.

May 6 Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano presides at funeral Mass for Swiss Guard Commander Alois Estermann and his wife, killed on May 4.

May 14 Concluding Mass for Asian Synod in St. Peter’s Basilica.

May 15 Pope receives King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians.

May 18 Pope John Paul’s 78th birthday. Audience for President Adamkus of Lithuania.

May 19 Audiences for Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Iraqi Vice

Prime Minister Tarek Aziz.

May 23 Holy Father departs for Turin, his 132nd trip within Italy. Until May 24.

June 8 Cuban bishops start weeklong visit to Roman Curia.

June 9 Former Secretary of State Cardinal Agostino Casaroli dies.

June 12 Audience granted to Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority.

June 16 Pope receives U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Renato Martino, addressed the U.N.-sponsored conference in Rome for the establishment of an international criminal court.

June 19 Start of Pope’s third trip to Austria: 83rd foreign apostolic visit. To June 21.

June 25 Presentation of Joint Declaration on Justification prepared by Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Lutheran World Federation.

June 30 Publication of John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio “Ad Tuendam Fidem.”

July 7 Presentation of Apostolic Letter “Dies Domini,” on keeping holy the Lord’s Day.

July 23 Publication of “Apostolos Suos,” Pope John Paul’s “Apostolic Letter Issued Motu Proprio On the Theological and Juridical Nature of Episcopal Conferences.” Dated May 21.

Aug. 22 Notification from Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the writings of Fr. Anthony de Mello, S.J.

Sep. 18 Departure for two-day trip to Chiavari and Brescia: 134th trip within Italy.

Sep. 24 Holy See and Kazakhstan sign agreement on bilateral relations.

Sep. 29 Pope receives King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain.

Oct. 2 Departure for Croatia, 84th foreign pastoral visit.

Oct. 3 Beatification of Croatia’s Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac.

Oct. 11 Canonization of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein).

Oct. 12 Diplomatic ties established between Holy See and Republic of Yemen.

Oct. 15 Pope John Paul’s 13th encyclical published: “Fides et Ratio.”

Oct. 16 John Paul II elected to papacy 20 years ago today.

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio

Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio, or better known as “Dr. Italy”, is the founder of Crossroads Initiative and is an acclaimed writer, speaker and evangelist.