.- Throngs of pilgrims are expected to gather in Rome this weekend as the Vatican prepares to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II. Events planned by the Holy See will commemorate the life of a man many are already calling “John Paul the Great.”
The Holy See has announced that they will mark the occasion with a Sunday rosary and vigil, followed by Mass on Monday.
Sunday’s rosary will be part of a vigil slated to begin at 8:30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square with singing led by the choir of the diocese of Rome. At 9:37 p.m.--the exact time that the late Pope passed on, Pope Benedict XVI will address the crowd from his study window, pronounce a prayer and conclude with his Apostolic blessing.
Then, on Monday, the Holy Father will preside at a 5:30 p.m. Mass in St. Peter’s Square.
Similar memorials and days of prayer are being planned worldwide to commemorate the pontiff’s death. It was said that John Paul was seen in person by more people than anyone else in history.
Last week, Parliament in the late Pope’s home country of Poland passed a resolution expressing its “immense gratitude” to John Paul. Politicians stood and applauded as the country’s lower house unanimously passed the resolution.