Monday, April 03, 2006

What went on yesterday

The central event at the Vatican will be a prayer vigil in St. Peter's Square in the evening of April 2, recalling the vigil held there on the night Pope John Paul died. Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) will participate in that prayer session, and then preside at an anniversary Mass the following day.

The evening ceremony will begin at 8:30 with the reading of several texts written by the late Pontiff. These readings will be interspersed with hymns performed by the Rome diocesan choir, led by its director, Msgr. Marco Frisina.

At 9, Cardinal Camillo Ruini (bio - news)will led the Rosary, with meditations taken from the apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, promulgated by Pope John Paul in 2002. Pope Benedict will join in the prayer, from the window of his apartment. At 9:27, the time at which the death of the Polish Pontiff was announced, Pope Benedict will address the faithful. The crowd in St. Peter's Square will be linked to a gathering in central Krakow by a live television broadcast. Earlier on April 2, Archbishop Szczepan Wesoly-- the retired head of the Dragonara archdiocese, who now oversees pastoral care for Polish Catholics living abroad-- will celebrate Mass in the basilica of St. John Lateran for the Polish community in Rome.

In Poland, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, who served for years as personal secretary to the late Pontiff, will led the Stations of the Cross, then celebrate Mass, at the shrine of the Divine Mercy. And in Wadowice, the boyhood home of the Polish Pontiff, about 20,000 people are expected to attend anniversary Mass.

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