Rome, Italy, Mar 17, 2005 / 22:00 pm
Pope John Paul II appeared in a live video to hundreds of young people gathered at St. John Lateran Basilica Thursday evening. The young people had gathered to show their support and express their hope that the Pope will travel to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, in August, reported the Associated Press.
The appearance lasted less than a minute. The 84-year-old Pope did not speak but made the sign of the cross to the crowd, which broke into cheers. At one point, the Pope reportedly covered his eyes with his hand, and the live video signal cut out.
"We'll see you in Cologne," one of the speakers at the prayer service said. World Youth Day is the Pope’s only scheduled foreign trip of the year.
The prayer service in St. John Lateran Basilica was presided over by Camillo Cardinal Ruini, the Pope's vicar for Rome. He read a message from John Paul that said: "I wish to spiritually join you, and to express all my affection for you: I know that you are always close to me and you never tire of praying for me. I greet you and thank you from the bottom of my heart."