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Vatican Prepares John Paul II Memorial

Posted March. 28, 2006 08:25,   


The Vatican is busy preparing a memorial commemorating the first anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II on April 2. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend a candlelight prayer meeting in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City that evening.

Mourners will gather near a window used by the former Pope and pay tribute to his memory. The current Pope Benedict XVI will participate in the event.

There are still the pictures of Pope John Paul II posted up all over the Vatican and Rome, which indicates how much people still respect him. Some places have pictures of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI side by side.

With the memorial event ahead, Pope Benedict delivered a message left by Pope John Paul II on March 26 as part of a sermon he wrote for a mass right before he died.

In a mass titled “Love and Hope,” Pope John Paul II worried that evil power, selfishness and fear seem to prevail the world. “Our lord has given mankind love, which enables us to forgive, reconcile and hope,” he wrote.

Rome is seeing a flood of books and documentaries on the achievements of Pope John Paul II. In one book, a bishop who was close to the Pope revealed that he had had Parkinson’s disease for five years.

After the Pope’s death, his mausoleum has become as popular a tourist attraction as the Colosseum. It is expected that more worshipers will flock to his mausoleum, commemorating the first anniversary of his death. Poland, the home country of Pope John Paul II, has named this week the “week of infinite gratitude” in honor of the former Pope by order of Poland’s Parliament.

Dong-Keun Keum gold@donga.com