Pope John Paul II will be declared a saint on April 28, 2014, along with Pope John XXIII, in the first-ever joint canonization ceremony in Catholic Church history.
Read more: "Two Pope Saints"
1930sA photo dated in the 1930s of Karol Wojtyla, posing with a candle in his hand after receiving First Communio, in in his home in Kracow. Karol Wojtyla became a bishop in Krakow in 1958, and then archbishop in 1963, before ascending to the papacy as John Paul II on Oct. 16, 1978.
1945Karol Wojtyla in Kracow, ca. 1945.
1953Karol Wojtyla in the Bieszczady mountains in Poland, ca. 1953.
Jean Paul IIAn undated and unlocated portrait of a young Jean Paul II.
1974Pope John Paul II (R) enters a meeting with unidentified Muslim leaders (L) in Abuja, Nigeria, March 22, 1974, the second day of his pastoral visits to the country.
1978An unlocated photo of Karol Wojtyla better known as Pope John Paul II, Oct. 1978.
1978Cardinal Karol Josef Wojtyla (C), Archbishop of Krakow, celebrates in Krakow an open air mass, Oct. 1978.
1978Pope John Paul II, 50, former Polish cardinal Karol Wojtyla, smiles at the Vatican Oct. 16, 1978, after being named as the head of the Catholic Church.
1978Pope John Paul II, 50, former Polish cardinal Karol Wojtyla, smiles at the Vatican, Oct. 16, 1978.
1978Pope John Paul II is saluted by an Orthodox pope during his coronation ceremony, Oct. 22, 1978 at Saint Peter Basilica in Vatican city.
1978Mother Teresa kisses the hand of Pope John Paul II, in Vatican City, Nov. 8, 1978.
1979Pope John Paul II waves from his popemobile in Mexico City at the beginning of his first Pastororal visit outside Italy to Santo Domingo, Mexico and the Bahamas, Jan. 26, 1979.
1979Pope John Paul II (L) prays in Oswiecim-Brzezinka after he placed a wreath at the floor of the death block cell at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp where Beatus Maximilian Kolbe died during WWII, June 7, 1979.
The pontiff visited Poland during his 2nd International Pastoral visit.
Maximilian Kolbe (1874-1941), a Polish Franciscan priest, founded in 1917 a devotional association, the Militia of Mary Immaculate. He was arrested by Gestapo in 1939, and again in 1941, and imprisoned in Auschwitz, where he gave his life in exchange for one of the condemned prisoners. He was canonized in 1982.
1980Pope John Paul II waves to the crowd as he and French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing walk down the Champs-Elysées Avenue in Paris, May 30, 1980.
1981Pope John Paul II is helped by his bodyguards after being shot by Mehmet Ali Agca at St. Peter's Square in Rome, May 13, 1981. The motive for the attack remains a mystery.
1981Pope John Paul II sits in his bed at the Policlinico Gemelli hospital in Rome after he was wounded in St. Peter's square by his would-be assassin Mehemet Ali Agca, May 19, 1981.
1981Pope John Paul II and Polish Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski confer in 1981 at the Vatican.
1982Pope John Paul II and Omar Bongo, president of Gabon, listen to national anthems on Feb. 17, 1982, in Libreville.
1983Pope John Paul II prays in the grotto of Massabielle at the Roman Catholic shrine in Lourdes during his second trip to France, Aug. 14, 1983.
1983Pope John Paul II meets with Ali Agca, the man who attempted to kill him in 1981, in Ancona prison, Dec. 27, 1983.
1983Pope John Paul II (L) greets Mehmet Ali Agca at Rebibbia prison in Rome, Dec. 27, 1983. Agca attempted to kill pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981. He was arrested and has spent nearly three decades in prison for his crime.
1984Pope John Paul II and French President Francois Mitterrand are welcomed by children who give them flowers as they arrive in Tarbes airport, Aug. 14, 1984.
1985King Hassan II of Morocco (L) welcomes Pope John Paul II upon his arrival at Mohamed V airport in Casablanca, Aug. 19, 1985.
1986Pope John Paul II meets with the Dalai Lama while looking at his book "Opening The Eye Of New Awareness," during his ten-day visit to India, in New Delhi, Feb. 2, 1986.
1986Pope John Paul II blesses a crowd of 50,000 youths gathered in Garland Stadium in Lyons, France, Oct. 5, 1986.
1986Pope John Paul II blesses a baby in Ars during the third day of his visit to Lyons region of France, Oct. 6, 1986.
1986Pope John-Paul II smiles as he plays with a koala, in Brisbane during his visit to Australia, Nov. 25, 1986.
1987Pope John Paul II embraces four-year-old Brendan O'Rourke, an AIDS vicitm, at the Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco, Sept. 17, 1987.
1988Pope John Paul II blesses Bolivian faithful of Trinidad, May 14, 1988, shortly before leaving the country for Paraguay during his 37th International Pastoral visit to Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay and Lima.
1990Pope John Paul II holds up a baby prior to a "ceremony of the world" in the Fouthina stadium of Midelo S. Vincente island on the second day of his trip to Cape Verde, Jan. 26, 1990.
1991Pope John Paul II celebrates a mass in the Chapel of the Apparition in front of the statue of Virgin of Fatima, May 12, 1991.
1991Pope John Paul II celebrates an open air mass in Olsztyn, north-east Poland, June 6, 1991.
1993Pope John Paul II (C), surrounded by dancers, waves to faithful during his visit to Uganda, Feb. 9, 1993.
1995U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton (L) and U.S. President Bill Clinton (C) greet Pope John Paul II (R) at the bottom of the aircraft steps as the Pope arrives in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 1995.
1995Pope John Paul II and South African President Nelson Mandela talk at the Presidential guest house in Pretoria, South Africa, Sept. 16, 1995.
2003Pope John Paul II waves as he arrives at the midnight mass to celebrate the birth of Christ at St. Peter's Basilica, in Vatican City, Dec. 25, 2003.
2004Pope John Paul II attends a meeting with the President of the Republic of Portugal Jorge Sampaio, Nov. 12, 2004, in Vatican City.
2005Pope John Paul II launches two doves from the window of his appartment at the end of his weekly Angelus prayer, Jan. 30, 2005 at the Vatican.
2005Pope John Paul II blesses pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square from his window in the Vatican, March 23, 2005.
2005The body of Pope John Paul II makes its way through the bronze doors of the Vatican, April 4, 2005.
2011Pope Benedict XVI and cardinals pray in front of the coffin of John Paul II at St. Peter's Basilica at the end of John Paul II Beatification Ceremony held by Pope Benedict XVI on May 1, 2011 in Vatican City.
The ceremony marking the beatification and the last stages of the process to elevate Pope John Paul II to sainthood was led by his successor Pope Benedict XI and attended by tens of thousands of pilgrims alongside heads of state and dignitaries.