.- Pope John Paul II celebrated his patron saint’s feast day, St. Charles Borromeo, by interrupting his routine work schedule to hold an audience with some 1,000 Polish pilgrims who gathered to send him their greetings.
After meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, the Pope met with his fellow countrymen in the Paul VI Hall. The Polish pilgrims were from the Diocesis of Gdansk.
The Pope, whose baptismal name is Karol (Charles) Wojtyla, thanked the pilgrims and recalled St. Charles Borromeo as “a diligent bishop” who cared for the poor. The saint’s charity, he said, was based on his love for Christ.
The Pope said St. Charles also celebrated the Mass with great devotion. “I remember him as we begin this year of the Eucharist, so that he might be an example for all Christians,” he stated.