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John Paul II – 18th anniversary of his death. The pontificate of the Polish Pope lasted 26 years

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Today marks the 18th anniversary of the death of John Paul II. The Polish Pope died on April 2, 2005 in the Vatican. He was 84 years old.

John Paul II was pope for 26 years. He was elected on October 16, 1978, after the death of John Paul I, who died after 33 days of his pontificate. His election and pontificate had a special impact on democratic changes in Poland and other communist countries. He also contributed to the improvement of relations between the Catholic Church and Jews, Muslims, Orthodox and Protestants.

On May 13, 1981, during an audience in Saint Peter’s Square, he was shot by a Turkish gunman.

John Paul II was called the pilgrim pope. During 26 years he visited 129 countries. He upheld the Church’s teaching on celibacy, abortion and euthanasia. He was the third longest-serving pope in history, the first from Poland and the first from outside Italy in over 450 years.

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John Paul II was declared a saint on April 27, 2014, seven years after his death.

Main photo source: sigma

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