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Last Updated: Sunday April 03 2005 14:42 GMT

In pictures: The life of John Paul II

Pope John Paul II in Poland
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Pope John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla (top right in black coat) in Poland in 1920.
Pope John Paul II
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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.
He was elected Pope in 1978
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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.
An assassination attempt on the Pope in 1981
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In 1981 he was shot and badly injured in St Peter's Square in Rome.
The Pope meeting Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca
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After his recovery he met the Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca and offered him forgiveness.
The Pope travelling in his Popemobile
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After the assassination attempt he travelled around in a special vehicle, called the Popemobile which had bulletproof glass.
The Pope and Nelson Mandela
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In September 1995 he met the then South African president Nelson Mandela.
The Pope with Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
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In the last 10 years the Pope has had a number of health problems. In 1998 he travelled to Cuba.
The Pope on Mount Nebo in Jordan
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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.
The Pope delivered his Easter message in 2000
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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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