Poles prepare for first anniversary of JP II’s death

.- Catholics across Poland are preparing to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II with public processions, liturgical celebrations and reflections on recent statements by Pope Benedict XVI.

On the morning of April 2, the Archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, will celebrate Mass at the Marian Shrine of Lagiewniki.  That night, Pope Benedict XVI will speak to young people in Poland via a live satellite hookup.

Several bonfires will be lit on strategic mountaintops, and in John Paul II’s own town of Wadowice, some 20,000 are expected to gather to pray in front of the home where he was born.

Cardinal Jozef Glemp of Warsaw will also celebrate a special Mass at the J. Pilsudski Square.

At the Marian Shrine of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, a special requiem entitled, “In Honor of Pope John Paul II,” will be performed by Italian composer Giovanni Veneri.

Thousands of young people are also expected to gather under the window of the archbishop’s residence in Krakow, from which John Paul addressed them on various occasions.

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