DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     October 15-17, 1999     vol. 10, no. 197

JOHN PAUL II! part two

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to


          This second section covers his twenty-one year papacy to date. No Pope has traveled as extensively and reached out to so many millions of people of all faiths as our present pontiff who has personally made 83 trips during his twenty years as head of the Roman Catholic Church. He truly is the "Pilgrim Pope". He truly is formed in the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Totus Tuus - Totally Yours. He is the man God has carefully chosen to lead us all in these troubled times. For details of his life leading up to being selected the 264th successor of Peter, we refer you back to PRE-PAPAL YEARS and refer you forward to the THE PAPAL YEARS: The Nineties

A great man was chosen in 1978 to lead the Church by placing his trust in the Blessed Trinity and the Mother of God to whom he has dedicated his papacy through his motto Totus Tuus.

THE PAPAL YEARS: The first dozen years


    Upon the unexpected death of John Paul I on September 28th, Cardinal Wojtyla rejoins the College of Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel to elect another Pope. John Paul I whose reign lasted on 33 days, was the first pope to choose a double name. Known as the "smiling Pope", John Paul I declined to have a coronation ceremony.

    On October 16th White Smoke curls up over the Vatican: Cardinal Wojtyla is elected the 163rd successor to St. Peter and chooses the name John Paul II. He becomes the first Polish Pope, the first non-Italian Pope since Adrian VI in 1523, and the youngest pontiff since Pope Pius IX one hundred years ago. Like his predecessor, John Paul II declines the papal tiara and is installed in an outdoor Mass in St. Peter's Square.


    John Paul II begins an odyssey that would identify him as the "Pilgrim Pope": with the most extensive travel itinerary in the history of the papacy. He first visits the Dominican republic, the Bahamas, and Mexico then returns to his native Poland, then to Ireland and the USA (NY, Boston, Phil., Des Moines, Chicago and Was. D.C.) and Turkey. On March 4th he issues his first encyclical Redemptor Hominis, on redemption and the dignity of the human race.


    The Holy Father travels the globe to various provinces of Africa (Zaire, Congo, Kenya, Ghana, Volta, and Ivory Coast); then to France, Brazil, and W. Germany. In the Fall he presides over his first Synod of Bishops and the 5th Synod Assembly, "The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World" and then issues his 2nd encyclical - on the mercy of God: Dives in Misericordia.


    John Paul II is shot in the abdomen on May 13th, Feast of Our Lady of Fatima in St. Peter's Square by would-be assassin Mehmet Ali Agca who John Paul would later forgive. During recovery, he reads about Fatima and Sister Faustina's Diary on Divine Mercy. Prior to the incident, he travels to the Philippines, Guam, and Japan with stopovers in Pakistan and Alaska. He issues his 3rd encyclical, (on human work); Laborem Exercens.


    John Paul II resumes his world visits traveling to Africa, Portugal, Great Britain, Brazil, Argentina, Switzerland, and Spain. He re-establishes credentials with Britain with first ambassador to Vatican since Henry VIII, 450 years ago and meets with Anglican Archbishop Runcie at Canterbury. Also meets with Ronald Reagan and later Yassir Arafat.


    John Paul II formally approves revision of the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Rite, replacing a code of 1918. Unseals the Holy Door in St. Peter's and calls for study of decline of vocations in the U.S. since Vatican II and calls on the super powers to negotiate an end to the arms race. The Shroud of Turin is bequeathed to the Pope by King Umberto. Travels include Central America, Poland again, Lourdes, and Austria.


    John Paul II holds first international gathering of young people at the Vatican. He establishes diplomatic relations with the USA and meets President and Nancy Reagan again. He issues Gift of Redemption: Redemptionis Donum on religious life and condemns anti-Semitism and Apartheid. Visits South Korea, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Thailand, Canada, Spain, and Puerto Rico.


    John Paul II inducts 28 new members into the College of Cardinals (an all-time high of 152). Encyclical on death of Saint Methodius: Slavorum Apostoli; opens secret archives of St. Pius X and Benedict XV; Fr. Junipero Serra, OFM declared venerable, and second Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on 20th Anniversary of Vatican II. He travels to South America (Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago); Africa, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.


    John Paul II establishes World Youth Day in Buenos Aires on Palm Sunday. Two encyclicals: Redemptoris Mater, on the Blessed Mother and the pilgrim Church for Marian Year (June 7, 87 to Aug. 15, 1988); and Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, on social concerns. Calls for unity with Orthodox Church. Visit's South America, W. Germany, Poland, and 2nd time in US (Miami; Columbia, SC; New Orleans; San Antonio, Phoenix, LA; Monterey; SF; and Detroit and Canada.


    John Paul II takes active interest in the communist countries issuing an Apostolic letter Euntes in Mundum commemorating 1000 years of the baptism of Saint Vladimir of Kiev and the Russian Church. His travels take him to Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Austria, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, South Africa, and France.


    John Paul II attends 2nd international World Youth Day at Shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Meets with President George Bush and Mikal Gorbachev separately and establishes official diplomatic relations with Poland while restoring a bishop in the Minsk, Byelo-Russia for the first time since WWII. Visits Madagascar, Reunion, Zambia, Malawi, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Korea, Indonesia, East Timor, and Mauritius.

Prayers, Blessings and Thanksgiving for twenty-one years of steady leadership and Totus Tuus to Our Lady and her Divine Son!

For the Papal years from 1990 to 1999, please see
THE PAPAL YEARS: The Nineties and for the years before he became Pope, please see THE PRE-PAPAL YEARS

October 15-17, 1999       volume 10, no. 197
21st Anniversary of the Pontificate of John Paul the Great - part two


|    Back to Graphics Front Page     Back to Text Only Front Page     |    Archives     |    What the DAILY CATHOLIC offers     |    DAILY CATHOLIC Ship Logs    |    Ports o' Call LINKS     |    Catholic Webrings    |    Catholic & World News Ticker Headlines     |    Why we NEED YOUR HELP     |    Why the DAILY CATHOLIC is FREE     |    Our Mission     |    Who we are    |    Books offered     |    Permissions     |    Top 100 Catholics of the Century    |    Enter Porthole HomePort Page    |    Port of Entry Home Page |    E-Mail Us