Skip to comments.Vatican prepares for anniversaries tomorrow, of first Fatima appearance, JPII assassination
Posted on 05/12/2006 1:44:21 PM PDT by NYer
Vatican City, May. 12, 2006 (CNA) - Officials at the Vatican are preparing to recognize two major anniversaries tomorrow. May 13th marks both the 89th anniversary of the first appearance of the Virgin Mary to 3 children in Fatima, Portugal and the 25th anniversary of the failed assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in St. Peters Square.
For the occasion, a reproduction of the statue which resides at the shrine of Fatima will travel by helicopter to the Vatican before being part of a procession--led by Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, India--along the Via della Conciliazione and into St. Peters Basilica.
As the statue and procession cross St. Peters Square, all will stop for a moment at the spot where John Paul II was shot by Mehmet Ali Agca in 1981.
Some 20,000 pilgrims are expected to gather in Rome for the celebration of the 2nd annual World Day of Pilgrims, sponsored by the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi.
Following the procession, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the Diocese of Rome will celebrate Mass in the basilica, before attending a celebration and fireworks show in St. Peters Square in memory of the late Pope.
In honor of the occasion, the Vatican has also placed a white, marble memorial, bearing John Pauls coat of arms and the date of the attempt at the exact location where the shooting occurred.