Vatican reveals surprising statistics on funeral Mass of John Paul II

The Press Office of the Holy See released statistics on Tuesday about the attendance at the Pope’s funeral and about the media coverage of the event.

More than six thousand journalists, photographers and radio and TV personnel received accreditation by the Press Office of the Holy See and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

137 television networks in 81 countries on all five continents reported to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications that they broadcast the funeral.

Vatican Radio provided commentary for the funeral in seven different languages to hundreds of stations in Europe and America.

The Holy See’s website received almost 1.5 million visits during the Papal funeral, with a maximum load of 54,000 simultaneous connections occupying a bandwidth of 9 gigabytes per second.

Regarding the Funeral:

157 cardinals concelebrated
700 archbishops and bishops were present
3,000 priests participated, of which 300 distributed Holy Communion
159 foreign delegations were in attendance
10 kings
59 heads of state
3 princes
17 prime ministers
8 vice presidents
8 vice prime ministers
12 foreign ministers
14 cabinet ministers
24 ambassadors
10 presidents, general directors, secretary generals or presidents of international organizations
23 delegations of Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches
8 Churches or ecclesial communities
3 international Christian organizations

Jewish delegations

Data from the Italian Department of Civil Protection:

More than 3 million pilgrims came together in Rome.
21,000 people per hour entered St. Peter’s Basilica.
350 persons per minute.
The average wait was 13 hours.
The maximum wait was 24 hours.
The line was 5 kilometers long.
500,000 filled St. Peter’s Square and the Via della Conciliazione on the day of the funeral.
600,000 watched on large screen TVs in other areas of Rome.


8,000 volunteers: 1,300 in Tor Vergata; 1,500 in St. Peter’s; 450 at train stations and other places where large TV screens were set up; 2,000 boy scouts; 11,900 police officers and security officials—530 on the border and 8,963 in Rome;
1000 firefighters
6 helicopters
400 soldiers
2,700 neighborhood watchmen
7,000 train station workers
4 disaster managers
3,500 sanitary workers
1,500 bus drivers
1000 additional train routes, in addition to the normal ones
8,000 train riders to and from Rome
6 trains from and to Poland with 5,000 Poles on board
800,000 people total transported via train
5,200 pull men
1,800 buses in Rome
29 giant TV screens
3 million bottles of water distributed free of charge
3,600 port-a-potties
4,000 health interventions
21 medical care outposts
100 ambulances not counting those already in Rome


At Tor Vergata, 150 awnings providing more than 8,000 spaces; 8 open-air kitchens; 400 water fountains; 2 water trucks

Public transportation carried 1,100,000 additional passengers per day

The subway carried more than 290,000 additional passengers per day—that is, 120,000 people each day.

3,500 signs were distributed throughout Rome with the words: “Thank you.  Rome mourns and salutes its Pope.”

The call center answered more than 20,000 calls per day.

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