Vatican to commemorate first anniversary of passing of John Paul II

The Pope’s vicar general for the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, is inviting the faithful to participate in ceremonies on April 2 and 3 to commemorate the first anniversary of the passing of Pope John Paul II.

According to Europa Press, the cardinal sent a letter to all pastors, religious superiors and faithful of Rome announcing two events to commemorate the anniversary and give thanks to God “for the gift [Pope John Paul II] has meant for the Church and humanity.”

The first event will be a prayer vigil and rosary on Sunday, April 2, in St. Peter’s Square, which will hearken to the intense atmosphere of prayer that prevailed on the night the late Pontiff died.  After the recitation of the rosary, Pope Benedict XVI will greet the faithful from the window of his study.

The second event will be a commemorative Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Monday, April 3. 

In his letter, Cardinal Ruini explained that the purpose of gathering together to pray with the current Pope is to express “the intense and profound feelings of gratitude that we hold in our hearts for our beloved Pontiff.”

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