Go to contents

The World Lost An Apostle of Peace

Posted April. 03, 2005 23:57,   


Pope John Paul II (84) received “eternal peace” on April 2, but the world lost an “apostle of peace.”

A papal spokesman, Joaquin Navarro- Valls, officially announced at night on April 2 (Rome time) that the Pope passed away at 9:37 p.m. on April 2 in his Vatican apartment and that (from that moment) the process of the Apostolic Constitution (Universi Dominici Gregis), which was published on February 22, 1996, operates.

The Universi Dominici Gregis is the Apostolic Constitution for the Pope’s absence or accident and stipulates the way to confirm the Pope’s death, a funeral procedure, and a process to convene a general meeting of Cardinals.

The Apostolic Constitution prescribes that the Pope’s funeral takes place for nine days, and that placing the body in a coffin be carried out four to six days after death.

Under the provision, the Pope’s funeral will take place around April 10.

However, the local press and major foreign news agencies reported that the Pope’s body would likely be moved from the Vatican apartment to Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in the afternoon of April 4, and that a more specific schedule for the funeral procedure would be decided at a general meeting of the Cardinals, to be held on April 4.

The Vatican released its statement in the morning of April 3 in which it said that from 8:00 p.m. of April 2 (97 minutes before the Pope’s death), the “Requiem mass” was dedicated, and during the mass, the Pope received his second Sacrament of the Sick and that the Pope died while listening to continuous prayers of those who came to help in the Pope’s sacred last moments.

The statement added that the Pope received the Viaticum, which is for a person in his final hours, just prior to his death.

The Associated Press (AP) News quoted officials of the Vatican as saying that “the Pope raised his right hand towards the outside of the window as if he was blessing believers in the Saint Peter’s Square and that he passed away immediately after saying “Amen” with his all energy, when the praying stopped for a moment.

After the news of the Pope’s death spread, foreign news agencies reported that more than 100,000 believers in Saint Peter’s Square mourned and prayed by saying, “Angels, guide him to heaven” and leaders from around the world issued their statements of mourning at the death of the Pope.

Pope John Paul II, who was born in Poland, became the Pope at the age of 58 in October 1978. He has since led 1.1 billion Catholic believers worldwide and devoted himself in the respect of human life and dialogues and reconciliation among religions and has been evaluated to have greatly contributed to democratization in communist countries.

Hyong-gwon Pu bookum90@donga.com