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Pope John Paul II, 1978 - 1981


Scope and Contents

The Pope John Paul II series, 1978-1981, contains newspapers detailing the his election as the new pope in October 1978 and an assassination attempt in May 1981.


  • Creation: 1978 - 1981

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is located at the Loyola Notre Dame Library. Contact Archives and Special Collections for more information.

This collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Pope John Paul II was born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland on May 18, 1920. He was the first non-Italian pope since Adrian VI in 1522 and the second longest-serving pope after Pope Pius IX. Wojtyla was ordained a priest on November 1, 1946 in Krakow, Poland and briefly studied under French Dominican Friar Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange in Rome. He returned to Krakow where local students joined him for outdoor excursions and prayers. In July 1958, Pope Pius XII appointed Wojtyla Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow. Pope Paul VI appointed him Archbishop of Krakow in January 1964 and Cardinal-Priest in June 1967. Cardinal Wojtyla was elected Pope John Paul II on October 16, 1978 following the death of Pope John Paul I thirty-three days into his pontificate.

On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot during an assassination attempt by a Turkish gunman in St. Peter's Square. He survived the attempt, after five hours of surgery, and a second attempt on his life a year later. During his pontificate, he visited over one-hundred countries and worked to strengthen relationships with other religions. Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005 and was beatified by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, on May 1, 2011. He was canonized on April 27, 2014. Historical information adapted from (accessed February 2019)


From the Collection: 1.11 Cubic Feet (1 half-size legal document box and 2 flat boxes)

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the Loyola Notre Dame Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

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