Benedict XVI to attend Polish Pope's canonisation
PR dla Zagranicy
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will attend the joint canonisation of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII on Sunday, the Vatican has confirmed.
A weekly mass held at St. Peter's for Pope John Paul II, Thursday 24 April. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Liberio Andreatta, head of a pilgrimage agency affiliated with the Vatican, revealed the news at a press conference.
“An event is due to take place in Rome that has never occurred throughout history: two popes will be canonised together while two popes are still alive,” he said.
He told reporters that for safety's sake, the Vatican is preparing for as many as a million pilgrims, although he did not expect there to be more than 700,000.
Nevertheless, this estimate is considerably lower than that given by the mayor of Rome, who claimed that 5 million people could appear.
Meanwhile, Andreatta revealed that 1700 buses and 58 charter flights will bring Polish pilgrims to Rome.
Pope John Paul II became the first ever Polish pontiff when he was elected in October 1978. He held the office until his death on 2 April 2005, becoming the second longest serving pontiff in the history of the papacy.
President Bronislaw Komorowski and his wife Anna Komorowska will lead the Polish delegation this weekend. (nh)