1920 - 2005
VATICAN CITY (April 2) - Pope John Paul II, the Polish pontiff who led the Roman Catholic Church for more than a quarter century and became history's most-traveled pope, died Saturday in his Vatican apartment. He was 84.
"The Holy Father died this evening at 9:37 p.m. in his private apartment. All the procedures outlined in the apostolic Constitution 'Universi Dominici Gregis' that was written by John Paul II on Feb. 22, 1996, have been put in motion," the Holy See said in a statement.
The announcement came from papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls and was distributed to journalists via e-mail. John Paul expired as cardinals were leading some 70,000 people in prayers for him in his "last journey."