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Pontificate of Pope John Paul II: An Overview (1990-1999)

VATICAN CITY, (VIS) - John Paul II was elected Pope on October 16, 1978, and his pontificate was solemnly inaugurated on October 22. What follows is a year-by-year overview of his papacy in the 1990s, listing its major events.

Annual Messages (Lent, to Youth, for World Mission Day, etc.) and events, such as the Holy Father's January address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See and his Christmas and Easter liturgical celebrations, are not listed.

For more overviews, visit 1978-79, 1980-1989, and 2000-present.

Vatican Information Service has compiled a brief summary of the 102 foreign apostolic trips made by Pope John Paul II in the past 25 years of his papacy. The summary is available at this link.

A list of encyclicals written by Pope John Paul II is available at this link.

Click on a year for the major events.
1990 1991 1992  1993  1994  1995  1996  1997  1998  1999


Jan. 25 - 45th pastoral visit outside Italy: Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Chad (January 25-February 1).

March 15 - Exchange of official representatives at the level of apostolic nuncio and special ambassador between the Holy See and the Soviet government.

April 21 - 46th pastoral visit outside Italy: Czechoslovakia.

April 22 - In Velehrad, Czechoslovakia, John Paul II announces a Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops.

April 27 - Official visit of President Mario Soares of Portugal.

May 6 - 47th pastoral visit outside Italy: Mexico and Curacao (May 6-14).

May 25 - 48th pastoral visit outside Italy: Malta.

Aug. 26 - During his Angelus message John Paul II appeals for peace in the Persian Gulf, following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq.

Sept. 1 - 49th pastoral visit outside Italy: Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Ivory Coast (September 1-10).

Sept. 30 - Eighth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: "The Formation of Priests in Circumstances of the Present Day" (September 30-October 28).

Oct. 18 - Promulgation of Code of Canons for Eastern Churches.

Nov. 24 - "Ad limina" visit of Vietnamese bishops: for the first time all bishops are present.

Dec. 1 - John Paul II accepts the resignation of Cardinal Secretary of State Agostino Casaroli and appoints Archbishop Angelo Sodano pro-secretary of State.

Dec. 21 - Vatican Information Service transmits first bulletin in English and Spanish: destined for bishops and nuncios.

Dec. 25 - From "Urbi et Orbi" message: "War is an adventure with no return." Papal appeal for peace in Persian Gulf.


Jan. 15 - Letter of John Paul II to U.S. President George Bush and to President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, in an attempt to deter a Gulf War.

Jan. 17 - Start of Gulf War.

Feb. 5 - Official visit of President Lech Walesa of the Polish Republic.

Feb. 28 - End of Gulf War.

March 4 - Meeting at the Vatican of episcopal representatives from the countries directly implicated in the Gulf War.

April 4 - Fourth Plenary Meeting of the College of Cardinals on the theme: "The Church facing the threat against human life and the challenge of the sects."

April 8 - Meeting of the presidents of Episcopal Conferences (April 8-9), concerning the economic problems of the Holy See and the financial contribution of the bishops (Canon 1271, CIC).

April 13 - Reorganization of the Latin-Rite Catholic Church in the Soviet Republics of Belarus, Russia and Kazakistan.

April 22 - Official visit of the President of the Republic of Chile, Patricio Aylwuin Azocar.

April 29 - Meeting of Swiss bishops with the Holy Father and the Roman Curia.

May 1 - Papal encyclical "Centesimus Annus" (The Hundreth Year), commemorating 100 years of papal social teaching, beginning with Leo XIII's "Rerum Novarum" of 1891.

May 3 - Official visit of King Carl Gustav XVI and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

May 10 - 50th pastoral visit outside Italy: Portugal (May 10-13).

June 1 - 51st pastoral visit outside Italy: Poland (June 1-9).

June 12 - Announcement of a Special Assembly for Lebanon of the Synod of Bishops.

June 28 - Fifth consistory of John Paul II for the creation of 22 new cardinals: Cardinal Ignatius Kung Pin-Mei is revealed as the 1979 "in pectore" cardinal.

Aug. 13 - 52nd pastoral visit outside Italy: Czestochowa, Poland for the 6th World Youth Day, and Hungary (August 13-20).

Sept. 7 - Holy See and Albania establish diplomatic ties.

Oct. 5 - Ecumenical prayer service at St. Peter's Basilica, on the occasion of the 6th centenary of the canonization of St. Brigid of Sweden. For the first time since the Reformation, two Lutheran bishops prayed in St. Peter's Basilica with the Pope, together with the Catholic bishops of Stockholm and Helsinki.

Oct. 12 - 53rd pastoral visit outside Italy: Brazil (October 12-21).

Nov. 28 - Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: "So that we might be witnesses of Christ who has set us free," (November 28-December 14).

Dec. 12 - Ecumenical prayer service in St. Peter's Basilica, on the occasion of the Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops.


Jan. 1 - Holy See recognizes Russian Federation.

Jan. 12 - Holy See recognizes sovereignty of Croatia and Slovenia.

Jan. 27 - Pope creates Assemblee des Ordinaires Catholiques de Terre Sainte.

Feb. 8 - Diplomatic relations with Croatia, Slovenia, Ukraine.

Feb. 19 - 54th pastoral visit outside Italy: Senegal, Gambia and Guinea (February 19-26).

March 7 - Promulgation of new General Regulations of the Roman Curia.

March 11 - Diplomatic relations with Kingdom of Swaziland.

March 19 - Trip to Sorrento, Castellamare di Stabia, Italy.

March 25 - Restructuring of Church in Poland.

April 4 - Diplomatic relations with Mongolia.

April 7 - Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Pastores Dabo Vobis" (Shepherds I give you).

April 9 - "Populorum Progressio" Foundation made public.

April 30 - 102nd trip within Italy: Friuli region (to May 3).

May 13 - Pope John Paul institutes World Day for the Sick, to be celebrated annually on February 11.

May 17 - Beatification of Jose Maria Escriva de Balaguer, the founder of Opus Dei, and of Giuseppina Bakhita of Sudan.

May 23 - 103rd trip within Italy - Campania. Diplomatic relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova.

May 25 - Visit to Pope by Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury George Leonard Carey.

June 1 - First "ad limina" visit of Bulgarian Episcopal Conference. Diplomatic relations with Republic of Nauru.

June 4 - 55th pastoral visit outside Italy: Angola and Sao Tome and Principe (June 4-10).

June 19 - 104th trip in Italy: Lombardy (to June 21).

June 30 - 5,000th day of Pope John Paul's pontificate, which began October 22, 1978.

July 12 - At the Angelus John Paul II announces that he will go to Gemelli Hospital that evening for diagnostic tests.

July 15 - Holy Father undergoes colic resection surgery. His gallbladder is removed due to gallstones. John Paul II is released from Gemelli Polyclinic on July 26.

July 29 - Holy See-Israel working commission formed.

Aug. 22 - Dramatic appeal for peace in the Balkans at Angelus.

Sept. 21 - Diplomatic relations between Holy See and Mexico.

Oct. 9 - 56th pastoral visit outside Italy: Santo Domingo, for the 5th centenary of evangelization of Latin America and Fourth General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate (October 9-14).

Oct. 17 - Diplomatic relations with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan.

Nov. 6 - First "ad limina" by Slovenia's bishops.

Nov. 11 - Diplomatic relations with Belarus.

Nov. 16 - - Apostolic Constitution "Fidei Depositum," for new catechism, is made public; Catechism of the Catholic Church presented in Paris.

Nov. 27 - Official visit of President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro of the Italian Republic.

Dec. 7 - John Paul II officially presents the Catechism of the Catholic Church to representatives from the Roman Curia and to the presidents of doctrinal and catechetical commissions of episcopal conferences.

Dec. 25 - Bishops of Albania appointed.


Jan. 1 - Holy See recognizes Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.

Jan. 9 - At Assisi, special prayer meeting for peace in Europe and particularly in the Balkans (January 9-10).

Jan. 21 - Official visit of Giuliano Amato, president of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Italy.

Jan. 25 - Pope announces new Ecumenical Directory.

Feb. 3 - 57th pastoral visit outside Italy: Benin, Uganda and Khartoum (February 3-10). John Paul II announces that the synod for Africa will be held in the Vatican in 1994.

Feb. 11 - 1st World Day of the Sick.

Feb. 19 - Official visit of President Milan Kacan of Slovenia.

Feb. 23 - Motu Proprio "Europae Orientalis" with which Permanent Interdicastery Commission for the Church in Eastern Europe substitutes Pontifical Commission for Russia.

March 19 - Trip to Sabina-Poggio-Mirteto, Italy.

April 25 - 58th pastoral visit outside Italy: Albania. John Paul II ordains 4 bishops, restoring the hierarchy in a country that once declared itself officially atheist.

May 4 - Pontifical Councils for Culture and for Dialogue with Non-believers are joined: name is Pontifical Council for Culture.

May 8 - Start of three-day trip to Sicily, Italy.

May 23 - Pastoral trip to Arezzo, Italy.

May 29 - Conclusion of the second Rome diocesan synod.

June 1 - Church re-structured in Hungary.

June 4 - "Centesimus Annus Pro Pontefice" Foundation announced.

June 8 - First ambassador from Romania presents credentials.

June 9 - Orthodox patriarch of Ethiopia received by Pope.

June 12 - 59th pastoral visit outside Italy: Spain (June 12-17).

June 19 - Trip to Macerata, Foligno, Gran Sasso, Italy. Ends June 20.

Aug. 6 - Papal encyclical "Veritatis Splendor"; published October 5, 1993.

Aug. 9 - 60th foreign pastoral visit: Jamaica, Merida and Denver, for 8th World Youth Day (August 9-16).

Sept. 3 - Holy Father receives Emperor Akihito of Japan.

Sept. 4 - 61st pastoral visit outside Italy: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia (September 4-10). First ever visit by a Pope to these countries.

Sept. 23 - John Paul II receives Mikhail Gorbachev.

Sept. 25 - Trip to Asti, Italy. Ends Sept. 26.

Oct. 16 - 15th anniversary of Holy Father's election.

Nov. 5 - Lebanon's President Elias Hrawi on visit; invites Pope to his country.

Nov. 11 - Pope dislocates his right shoulder during a fall at the end of an audience in the Hall of Benediction. He spent one day at Gemelli Hospital; his shoulder is immobilized for one month.

Dec. 13 - South Africa's President De Klerk visits Pope.

Dec. 16 - Official visit of President Carlos Saul Menem of Argentina.

Dec. 26 - Opening of the International Year of the Family of the Catholic Church.

Dec. 30 - Signing of the accord on basic principles regulating diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel.


Jan. 1 - Motu Proprio "Socialium scientiarum" establishing Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

Jan. 6 - Letter to the Italian bishops on the responsibilities of Catholics facing the challenge of the present historic situation.

Jan. 11 - "Directives Concerning the Preparation of Seminary Educators" is released by Congregation for Catholic Education.

Jan. 26 - Diplomatic relations with Federated States of Micronesia.

Feb. 2 - Letter of John Paul II to Families, on the occasion of the International Year of the Family.

Feb. 11 - Motu Proprio "Vitae Mysterium" establishes Pontifical Academy for Life.

Feb. 16 - Diplomatic relations with Republic of Suriname.

March 3 - Official visit of President Richard von Weizsacker of the Federal Republic of Germany.

March 3 - Diplomatic relations with Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

March 5 - Diplomatic relations with Republic of South Africa.

March 7 - Official visit of President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic.

March 17 - Israeli Prime Minister Rabin visits Pope.

March 19 - Letter of John Paul II to heads of State around the world and to the secretary general of the United Nations regarding the International Conference on Population and Development to be held in September 1994 in Cairo, Egypt.

March 25 - Diplomatic relations established with Cambodia.

April 7 - Vatican concert for the commemoration of the Shoah, in the presence of John Paul II and Chief Rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff.

April 8 - John Paul II celebrates Mass in the Sistine Chapel for the unveiling of the restored frescoes of Michelangelo.

April 10 - Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: "The Church in Africa and Her Evangelizing Mission Towards the Year 2000: 'You Shall Be My Witnesses'" (April 10-May 8).

April 28 - Holy Father falls, breaks femur. Goes to Gemelli Hospital the morning of April 29.

May 8 - Concluding Mass for synod of Africa.

May 10 - Holy Father institutes cloistered monastery within Vatican.

May 22 - Apostolic Letter to bishops: "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis" (On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone).

June 2 - Pope receives President Bill Clinton of the United States.

June 10 - Diplomatic relations with Western Samoa.

June 13 - Fifth plenary meeting of the College of Cardinals, with John Paul II participating, in preparation for the Jubilee of the Third Millennium (June 13-14).

June 15 - Diplomatic relations at the level of apostolic nunciature and embassy between the Holy See and the State of Israel.

July 20 - Diplomatic relations with Vanuatu.

July 24 - Diplomatic relations with Kingdom of Tonga.

Sept. 5 - Holy See delegation attends the International Conference on Population and Development, in Cairo from September 5-13.

Sept. 8 - John Paul offers Mass at Castelgandolfo for Bosnia-Herzegovina, after cancelling his planned visit to Sarajevo.

Sept. 10 - 62nd pastoral visit outside Italy: Zagreb, Croatia (September 10-11).

Sept. 17 - Start of two day trip to Lecce, Italy.

Sept. 29 - Pope receives first Israeli ambassador to Holy See.

Oct. 2 - Ninth general assembly of the Synod of Bishops: "The Consecrated Life and Its Role in the Church and in the World" (October 2-29).

Oct. 8 - International Meeting of Families with the Holy Father honoring the International Year of the Family.

Oct. 20 - Publication of Pope John Paul's book "Crossing the Threshold of Hope": 21 languages, 35 countries.

Oct. 25 - Beginning of working contacts of "permanent and official character" between the Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organization, with a PLO office of representation to the Holy See and the nuncio of Tunisia responsible for contacts with the PLO.

Nov. 4 - John Paul II visits Catania and Siracusa, Sicily. Ends November 6: 117th trip within Italy.

Nov. 10 - Apostolic Letter "Tertio Millennio Adveniente" to Bishops, Clergy and Lay Faithful on the Preparation for the Jubilee of the Year 2000.

Nov. 19 - First ambassador from Jordan received.

Nov. 26 - Sixth Consistory of John Paul II for the creation of 30 new cardinals, from 24 countries.

Dec. 9 - Publication of "Women, Teachers of Peace": Pope's Message for 1995 World Day of Peace.

Dec. 15 - Letter to Children in the Year of the Family.

Dec. 18 - Pope John Paul named Man of the Year by TIME Magazine.

Dec. 21 - Diplomatic ties established with Macedonia.


Jan. 11 - 63rd pastoral visit outside Italy: Manila, the Philippines, to celebrate the 10th World Youth Day; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Sydney, Australia; and Colombo, Sri Lanka. January 11-21.

Jan. 14 - Message to Chinese Catholics, broadcast over Radio Veritas in Manila.

Feb. 4 - Audience for Malta's President Mifsud Bonnici.

Feb. 17 - Visit by Paraguayan President Carlos Wasmosy.

March 16 - Audience for Iraqi Vice Prime Minister Tariq Aziz.

March 17 - Audience for Foreign Affairs Minister Vladislav Jovanovic of Yugoslavia.

March 19 - Trip to Molise region: 119th within Italy.

March 24 - President Sixto Duran-Ballen of Ecuador on visit.

March 25 - 11th Encyclical "Evangelium Vitae" ("The Gospel of Life"). Made public on March 30.

March 28 - Audience for Romanian President Ion Illiescu.

April 29 - Two-day pastoral visit to Trent, Italy: 450th anniversary of start of Council of Trent and beatification of John Nepomucene. 120th trip within Italy.

May 2 - Apostolic Letter "Orientale Lumen" for the centenary of "Orientalium Dignitas" of Pope Leo XIII.

May 8 - Message on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the End of the Second World War in Europe.

May 19 - Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Al Shara'a on visit.

May 20 - Three-day pastoral visit to Czech Republic: 64th outside of Italy.

May 25 - "Ut Unum Sint" ("That All May be One"), 12th papal - encyclical. Published May 30.

May 26 - Message to Gertrude Mongella, secretary general of U.N.'s Fourth World Conference on Women, scheduled for September in Beijing, China. Visit by President Kiro Gligorov of ex-Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

June 3 - Two-day trip to Belgium is 65th pastoral visit outside Italy: beatification of Fr. Damien de Veuster.

June 11 - Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for anniversary of end of World War II.

June 27 - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I welcomed to Vatican.

June 29 - Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles. Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy Father give homilies in St. Peter's Basilica, and sign Common Declaration. Letter to Women (made public on July 10).

June 30 - 66th pastoral visit outside Italy: Slovak Republic.

July 12 - 121st trip within Italy: Les Combes for vacation.

July 17 - Theme announced for Jubilee Year 2000: "Jesus Christ - Yesterday, Today, Always."

Aug. 29 - Audience for Mary Ann Glendon, head of delegation, and other members of Holy See delegation to UN Conference on Women, Beijing, September 4-15.

Sept. 2 - Audience for Yasser Arafat.

Sept. 9 - Two-day visit to Loreto on the occasion of the pilgrimage of European youth. 122nd Italian trip.

Sep. 14 - 67th foreign pastoral visit: Africa, for conclusion of Synod for Africa, September 14-20. In Yaounde, Cameroon, the signing of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Africa," the first time a document is signed outside the Vatican.

Oct. 4 - 68th pastoral visit outside Italy: U.S.A. (New York, Newark, Brooklyn, Baltimore). On Rome-New York flight, Pope crosses the 1 million kilometer mark.

Oct. 5 - Address to United Nations General Assembly, commemorating 50th anniversary of founding of U.N.

Nov. 16 - Apostolic Letter for the Fourth Centenary of the Union of Brest.

Nov. 17 - Audience for President Carlos Alberto Reina of Honduras.

Nov. 23 - One-day visit to Palermo, Sicily. 123rd trip within Italy.

Nov. 26 - Opening Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for Special Assembly for Lebanon of the Synod of Bishops.

Dec. 8 - Entrusts Rome with Citizens' Mission for the Jubilee Year.

Dec. 15 - Receives Leah Rabin, widow of Yitzhak Rabin.


Jan. 20 - State visit of French President Jacques Chirac.

Feb. 1 - First official visit by a Mexican head of state: President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon.

Feb. 5 - Departure for Latin America, 69th foreign visit: Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Venezuela. Until February 12.

Feb. 22 - Apostolic Constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis," On the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff.

March 28 - Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Vita Consecrata."

March 30 - Trip to Siena: 124th within Italy.

April 14 - One-day visit to Tunis: 70th foreign trip.

April 19 - Crown Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan received in audience.

May 4 - Two-day trip to Como: 125th in Italy.

May 17 - 71st trip abroad: Slovenia, through May 19.

May 25 - Audience for President Julio Maria Sanguinetti of Uruguay.

June 21 - Departure for Germany, 72nd foreign trip. Until June 23.

July 4 - Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi received in audience.

July 6 - "Moleben" in St. Peter's Basilica for 4th centenary of Union of Brest.

July 7 - Presides at liturgy in St. Peter's in Byzantine-Ukrainian rite for celebrations of 4th centenary of Union of Brest.

July 10 - Departure for Dolomite mountain vacation in Lorenzago di Cadore. Until July 23. 126th trip within Italy.

Sept. 6 - Start of second papal trip to Hungary: 73rd foreign apostolic visit. September 6-7.

Sept. 19 - Departure for France on 74th foreign trip. To September 22.

Oct. 8 - Pope undergoes appendectomy at Gemelli Polyclinic. Returns to Vatican on October 15.

Nov. 1 - John Paul II marks 50 years of priestly ordination.

Nov. 7 - Four days of jubilee celebrations commence.

Nov. 13 - Address to World Food Summit at FAO headquarters, Rome.

Nov. 15 - Presentation of book: "Gift and Mystery: On the 50th Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination."

Nov. 18 - Audience for Mikhail Gorbachev.

Nov. 19 - Audience with President Fidel Castro of Cuba. Pope accepts invitation to visit in January, 1998.

Dec. 3 - Message to the Church Which is in China.

Dec. 4 - Visit by His Grace George Leonard Carey, archbishop of Canterbury and primate of the Anglican Communion.

Dec. 5 - Publication of Apostolic Epistle "Operosam Diem," to the faithful of the Milan archdiocese on the 16th centenary of the death of St. Ambrose.

Dec. 6 - Common Declaration signed by Pope, Anglican primate.

Dec. 10 - Visit of His Holiness Karekin I Sarkassian, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

Dec. 13 - Pope, Catholicos sign Common Declaration.


Jan. 14 - Pope receives Lien Chan, vice president and prime minister of the Republic of China.

Jan. 25 - Meeting in Vatican with His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenians. Signing of Common Declaration.

Feb. 3 - Visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Feb. 14 - President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, first official visit to the Vatican by a Brazilian head of State.

March 10 - Ireland's President Mary Robinson received by Holy Father.

March 10 - Holy See, Libya establish diplomatic ties.

March 12 - Letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on situation in Zaire.

March 20 - Visit by Jose Maria Aznar, president of Spanish government.

April 12 - Two-day trip to Sarajevo: 75th foreign pastoral visit.

April 15 - John Paul II welcomes U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

April 25 - Start of three-day pastoral visit to Czech Republic: 76th foreign trip.

May 10 - Departure for two-day trip to Lebanon: 77th foreign pastoral trip.

May 16 - Audience with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze.

May 18 - Pope John Paul celebrates 77th birthday.

May 31 - Departure for Poland; until June 10. Pope's 78th foreign pastoral visit.

June 9 - Diplomatic Relations with Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

June 16 - President Alberto Fujimori of Peru welcomed to Vatican. - Pope writes letters to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority, in which he expresses concern for interrupted dialogue in Middle East peace process.

June 24 - Letter to Cardinal John Baptist Wu Cheng-chung, bishop of Hong Kong, on the occasion of the scheduled July 1 return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty.

July 8 - Holy See, Angola establish diplomatic relations.

July 17 - Holy See approved as Observer to World Trade Organization.

July 18 - Letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin in which Pope expresses concern about a bill submitted to the Russian parliament "concerning freedom of conscience and religious associations."

July 22 - Holy See signs United Nations conventional weapons ban.

Aug. 21 - Departure for Paris for 12th World Youth Day. This four-day trip is the Holy Father's 79th foreign visit.

Sept. 6 - Telegram for the death of Mother Teresa yesterday in Calcutta, India.

Sept. 8 - Apostolic Constitution "Laetamur magnopere," with which the Holy Father approves and promulgates the official Latin version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Sept. 27 - Pope travels to Bologna, Italy, to participate in 23rd National Eucharistic Congress. Until Sept. 28.

Oct. 2 - Departure for four-day visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for Second World Meeting with Families. 80th foreign trip.

Oct. 11 - Meeting with President Carlos Saul Menem of Argentina.

Oct. 16 - 19th anniversary of John Paul II's election to the papacy.

Oct. 19 - Pope proclaims St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as Therese of the Child Jesus, Doctor of the Church. She is the 33rd Doctor of the Church, the third woman (with St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa of Avila), and the youngest Doctor.

Oct. 22 - Anniversary of start of Pope John Paul's pontificate as he enters his 20th year.

Nov. 16 - Pope inaugurates Synod for America, presides at Eucharistic concelebration in St. Peter's Basilica.

Nov. 26 - Audience with Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek.

Dec. 4 - Holy See signs Convention banning land mines, offers $100,000 to victims.

Dec. 20 - Letter to Cuban people on the occasions of Christmas and the Pope's forthcoming trip to their country.


Jan. 15 - Communique announces Holy See-Palestinian Mixed Commission.

Jan. 16 - Holy See and Patriarchate of Moscow issue joint communique after annual meeting.

Jan. 17 - Holy See remits excommunication of Fr. Tissa Balasuriya, O.M.I.

Jan. 18 - Pope names 20 new cardinals, announces another two "in pectore."

Jan. 21 - John Paul II leaves for Cuba, on his 81st pastoral visit outside of Italy. Until January 26.

Jan. 22 - Fidel Castro and Pope meet in Havana.

Feb. 1 - Holy Father visits Roman family in their home.

Feb. 2 - Pope John Paul presents Apostolic Constitution "Ecclesia in Urbe" to Cardinal Ruini, vicar of Rome. Celebration of the Second Day for Consecrated Life.

Feb. 7 - Pope presides at funeral Mass for Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. First ambassador of Angola presents credentials.

Feb. 10 - John Paul II receives President Boris Yeltsin of Russia.

Feb. 15 - Holy See nuncio to U.N., Archbishop Renato Martino, conveys papal message to Secretary General Kofi Annan, encouraging him to undertake trip to Iraq to attempt to solve crisis which developed there in recent weeks.

Feb. 16 - First ambassador from Libya received.

Feb. 17 - Holy See ratifies land mine convention.

Feb. 21 - Consistory to create 20 new cardinals; the seventh of John Paul II's pontificate.

March 7 - Audience granted to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

March 10 - The Congregations for Catholic Education and for the Clergy present a book containing the documents: "Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons," and "The Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons."

March 14 - Pope signs Letter returning liturgical faculties to Syro-Malabar Church.

March 16 - Presentation of Holy See document, "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah."

March 21 - Holy Father leaves for Nigeria, 82nd foreign pastoral trip.

March 26 - Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran leaves on visit to Jordan and Yemen.

March 27 - Pope receives Cuban Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina Gonzales.

April 2 - Audiences for Fares Bouez and Amre Moussa, respectively foreign ministers of Lebanon and Egypt.

April 16 - Presentation of the volume "Serving the Human Family: The Holy See at the Major United Nations Conferences," produced by the Holy See Permanent Observer Mission to the U.N. in New York.

April 19 - Opening of Synod for Asia.

May 6 - Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano presides at funeral Mass for Swiss Guard Commander Alois Estermann and his wife, killed on May 4.

May 14 - Concluding Mass for Asian Synod in St. Peter's Basilica.

May 15 - Pope receives King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians.

May 18 - Pope John Paul's 78th birthday. Audience for President Adamkus of Lithuania.

May 19 - Audiences for Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Iraqi Vice Prime Minister Tarek Aziz.

May 23 - Holy Father departs for Turin, his 132nd trip within Italy. Until May 24.

June 8 - Cuban bishops start weeklong visit to Roman Curia.

June 9 - Former Secretary of State Cardinal Agostino Casaroli dies.

June 12 - Audience granted to Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority.

June 16 - Pope receives U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Renato Martino, addresses the U.N.-sponsored conference in Rome for the establishment of an international criminal court.

June 19 - Start of Pope's third trip to Austria: 83rd foreign apostolic visit. To June 21.

June 25 - Presentation of Joint Declaration on Justification prepared by Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Lutheran World Federation.

June 30 - Publication of John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio "Ad Tuendam Fidem."

July 7 - Presentation of Apostolic Letter "Dies Domini," On Keeping the Lord's Day Holy.

July 23 - Publication of "Apostolos Suos," Pope John Paul's "Apostolic Letter Issued Motu Proprio On the Theological and Juridical Nature of Episcopal Conferences." Dated May 21.

Aug. 22 - Notification from Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the writings of Fr. Anthony de Mello, S.J.

Sept. 18 - Departure for two-day trip to Chiavari and Brescia: 134th trip within Italy.

Sept. 24 - Holy See and Kazakhstan sign agreement on bilateral relations.

Sept. 29 - Pope receives King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain.

Oct. 2 - John Paul II departs for three-day trip to Croatia, his 84th pastoral visit outside of Italy.

Oct. 3 - Beatification in Croatia of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac.

Oct. 11 - Canonization in Rome of Blessed Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein).

Oct. 15 - Presentation of Pope's 13th Encyclical Letter "Fides et Ratio."

Oct. 16 - 20th anniversary of John Paul's election as pontiff.

Oct. 19 - Audience with the president of Honduras, Carlos Roberto Flores Facusee.

Oct. 20 - Official visit to Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.

Oct. 22 - 20th anniversary of the start of Pope John Paul's pontificate, the 11th longest in the history of the Church.

Oct. 30 - Publication of some reflections from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the primacy of Peter.

Nov. 22 - Opening of Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops.

Nov. 24 - Pope receives President Laurent-Desire Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Nov. 29 - First Sunday of Advent. Proclamation of Bull of Indiction for the Holy Year 2000, during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Bull also sets forth the conditions for gaining the Jubilee indulgence.

Dec. 1 - Cuban authorities reinstate Christmas as annual holiday.

Dec. 12 - Pope presides over Mass in St. Peter's Basilica to close the Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops.


Jan. 8 - Audience for Massimo D'Alema, president of Italy's Council of Ministers.

Jan. 15 - Audience for Pandeli Majko, president of Council of Ministers of Albania.

Jan. 18 - Visit by President Leonel Fernandez Reyna of the Dominican Republic. Start of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Jan. 22 - John Paul II leaves on 85th foreign pastoral visit: Mexico City, Mexico and St. Louis, U.S.A. to close Synod for America. Pope signs and dates Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in America." Presents it to bishops the following day.

Jan. 26 - Pope John Paul and U.S. President Bill Clinton meet upon Pope's arrival in St. Louis, U.S.A. Presentation of new rite of exorcism of the Roman Book of Rites (from Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments).

Feb. 4 - Holy See and Israel sign "Legal Personality Agreement."

Feb. 8 - New Hungarian Ambassador, Pal Tar, presents Letters of Credence. Holy See Press Office issues final report on 1998 Swiss Guard deaths.

Feb. 11 - 70th anniversary of founding of Vatican City State.

Feb. 12 - Pope and bishops of Laos, Cambodia meet together for first time. Bishops are in Rome for "ad limina" visit.

Feb. 19 - Audience to Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority.

Feb. 20 - Pope receives Jason C. Hu, foreign affairs minister of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

March 1 - Announcement that Pope has given permission to start the cause of beatification for Mother Teresa of Calcutta, dispensing from norm which states that five years must pass between person's death and start of cause.

March 11 - Audience for Seyyed Mohammad Khatami: first visit by a president of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Pope John Paul.

March 20 - Visit by president of Colombia, Andres Pastrana-Arango.

March 25 - Pope receives President Robert Kotcharian of Armenia, and Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong of Singapore in separate audiences. Holy See statement on NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, which began last evening.

March 29 - Pope and Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro meet.

March 30 - High level Vatican meeting studies Kosovo crisis: includes ambassadors to Holy See from NATO member countries and permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

April 1 - Statement on today's mission to Belgrade by Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, secretary for Relations with States.

April 4 - Easter. Pope writes Letter to Artists: published on April 23 in eight languages.

April 18 - Papal Letter to His Holiness Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, on the occasion of the latter's trip to Belgrade to find peaceful solution to Kosovo conflict.

April 22 - Pope welcomes President Alvaro Arzu Irigoyen of Guatemala.

April 26 - Visit by Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon.

April 27 - Pope writes U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on eve of Annan's departure for Europe to seek peace in Yugoslavia.

April 29 - Holy See and Cook Islands establish diplomatic ties.

May 2 - Capuchin Padre Pio of Pietrelcina is beatified.

May 7 - Pope departs for three-day trip to Romania: 86th foreign apostolic trip. Includes meeting with Orthodox Patriarch Teoctist. Pope participates in Orthodox liturgy, and Patriarch in Catholic liturgy.

May 10 - Pope welcomes Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova. Rugova holds press conference in Holy See Press Office.

May 18 - John Paul II turns 79. He welcomes German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

May 23 - Pentecost. Three priests ordained in Russia, the first in 82 years.

May 30 - Pope travels to Ancona, 135th trip within Italy.

June 3 - John Paul II receives U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

June 5 - Pope leaves for Poland, his 87th foreign pastoral trip. Until June 17.

June 11 - Warsaw, Poland: Pope's first ever address to a national parliament.

June 30 - Holy Father's Letter on "Pilgrimages to the Places Linked to the History of Salvation."

July 8 - Note is published by Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts on the authentic interpretation of canons dealing with care of Eucharist.

July 19 - Diplomatic Relations with the Lesser Antilles.

August 7-8 - Cardinal Angelo Sodano represents Pope John Paul at the closing celebrations of the European Youth Meeting, being held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain from August 4-8.

Sept. 4 - One-day apostolic trip to Salerno, Italy: Pope John Paul's 136th such trip within Italy.

Sept. 5 - Audience at Castelgandolfo with Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian National Authority.

Sept. 13 - Audiences to Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, apostolic administrator of Dili, East Timor, and Prime Minister Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili of Lesotho.

Sept. 16 - Pope receives President Guido de Marco of the Republic of Malta.

Sept. 18 - Pope receives King Abdullah Bin Hussein of Jordan.

Sept. 19 - One-day apostolic trip to Slovenia: the Pope's 88th foreign pastoral trip.

Sept. 30 - Audience for Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, president of Venezuela. Holy Father blesses newly restored facade of St. Peter's Basilica in an early evening ceremony, accompanied by fireworks, in St. Peter's Square.

Oct. 1 - A concelebrated Mass in St. Peter's Basilica opens the Second Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops. During the Mass, Pope John Paul proclaims St. Edith Stein (Benedicta of the Cross), St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Catherine of Siena co-patronesses of Europe.

Oct. 15 - Holy Father's annual Message for World Food Day, on the theme "Young People Against Hunger."

Oct. 16 - John Paul II marks the 21st anniversary of his election as Pope. His pontificate is the 10th longest in history (St. Peter's is considered the longest).

Oct. 19 - Official visit by Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. Also, an announcement that a joint team of Catholic and Jewish scholars will be formed to review published volumes of Church archival material covering the World War II period.

Oct. 22 - Final message of European Synod of Bishops.

Oct. 23 - Closing Mass for Second Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops.

Oct. 26 - Publication of "The Letter of His Holiness John Paul II to the Elderly."

Oct. 28 - Pope receives Franjo Tudjman, president of Croatia, and Croatia's foreign affairs minister, Mate Granic.

Oct. 29 - Pope grants audience to President Rudolf Schuster of Slovakia, and Slovakia's foreign affairs minister, Eduard Kukan. Holy Father and world's religious leaders gather in St. Peter's Square at conclusion of Inter-religious assembly in the Vatican. Oct. 31 - Joint Declaration on the Doctrine Justification signed in Augsburg, Germany by Catholic Church and World Lutheran Federation.

Nov. 4 - Cardinal Cassidy attends enthronement of new Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II.

Nov. 5 - Pope leaves for five-day trip to India and Republic of Georgia on his 89th foreign pastoral visit. The Latin, Greek-Orthodox and Armenian patriarchs of Jerusalem announce that Holy Land shrines will be closed November 22 and 23 to express disapproval of the building of a mosque near the basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth.

Nov. 6 - John Paul II signs Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Asia" in New Delhi.

Nov. 13 - Audience to King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

Nov. 15 - Visit by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of the Republic of Algeria.

Nov. 19 - Pope receives Fernando Henrique Cardoso, president of Brazil.

Nov. 22 - Audiences to Carlos Saul Menem, president of Argentina, and Sheikh Hamad Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, emir of Bahrain.

Nov. 23 - Audiences to Martti Ahtisaari, president of Finland, and Jordan Sokolov, president of the Bulgarian parliament.

Dec. 10 - Publication of papal Message to Catholics in China for the Jubilee Year.

Dec. 11 - John Paul II inaugurates completely restored Sistine Chapel.

Dec. 13 - Audiences to president of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki, and to His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX, patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians.

Dec. 18 - Audience to Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech Republic.

Dec. 20 - Promulgation of decrees by Congregation for the Causes of Saints: includes Popes Pius IX and John XXIII among those who will be beatified.

Dec 24 - Pope John Paul II opens Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica, to start the Jubilee Year 2000. Presides at the celebration of Christmas Midnight Mass.

Dec. 25 - Christmas Day "Urbi et Orbi" Message and Blessing. Pope opens the Holy Door at the patriarchal basilica of St. John Lateran.

Dec. 31 - Vespers and traditional end-of-the-year "Te deum" of thanksgiving in St. Peter's Basilica. At midnight Pope appears at his window and wishes the crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square a Happy New Year, new millennium and Jubilee year. He imparts his "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.

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