Poles remember pope who died 14 years ago
PR dla Zagranicy
Events were being held in Poland and abroad on Tuesday to remember John Paul II, the late Polish-born pope who led the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005.
Pope John Paul II. Photo: Eric Draper (whitehouse.gov) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Tuesday marked 14 years since Pope John Paul II died after a pontificate lasting more than 26 years.
A Mass at his tomb in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican was attended by officials including Polish Cabinet minister Beata Kempa, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
After the mass, Kempa said that John Paul II was a great man and that his teachings were important and relevant to most Poles.
“We are proud of our Holy Father," Kempa said.
A prayer vigil was set to begin at 9 pm at St. Peter’s Square on the 14th anniversary of the pope’s passing.
In Warsaw, a traditional vigil combined with reflections on John Paul II’s teachings was scheduled to begin at Piłsudski Square in the evening.
In a survey last year, 92 percent of adults in Poland said the late pontiff remained a moral authority for them.
John Paul II served as pope from October 16, 1978 until his death on April 2, 2005.
He visited 129 countries during his long pontificate and was a strong supporter of Poland's anti-communist Solidarity movement. He is recognised as a key influence in helping to end communist rule in Poland in 1989.
Newly unearthed documents show that Pope John Paul II was seen as the main enemy of Poland’s communist-era rulers, according to a report.