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Sunday April 03 2005 14:42 GMT
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In pictures: The life of John Paul II
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Pope John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla (top right in black coat) in Poland in 1920.
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He was forced to study religion in secret during World War II. He became a priest in 1946, Archbishop of Krakow in 1964 and a Cardinal three years later.
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He was elected Pope in 1978 aged 58. He was the first non-Italian for 450 years and took the name John Paul II.
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In 1981 he was shot and badly injured in St Peter's Square in Rome.
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After his recovery he met the Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca and offered him forgiveness.
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After the assassination attempt he travelled around in a special vehicle, called the Popemobile which had bulletproof glass.
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In September 1995 he met the then South African president Nelson Mandela.
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In the last 10 years the Pope has had a number of health problems. In 1998 he travelled to Cuba.
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In 2000 the Pope toured famous religious sites around the world, including Mount Nebo, west of Amman, Jordan, where Christians believe Moses first glimpsed the Promised Land.
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Even in his later years when the Pope's health was getting worse he still travelled, visiting Poland in 2002.
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