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  • » 04/13/2005, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Three million mourners in Rome for Pope's funeral



    Pilgrims continue to arrive to visit John Paul II's final resting place.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – More than three million pilgrims arrived in Rome from April 2 to 8, from the time Pope John Paul died till his funeral.

    People paid their respects inside St Peter's Square at a rate of 21,000 per hour, 350 per minute, and at one point, the queue reached five kilometres (over three miles).

    Waiting time averaged 13 hours with a maximum of 24.

    On the day of the funeral half a million faithful crowded St Peter's Square; with another 600,000 watching from 29 giant screens set up around the city of Rome.

    Some 400 disabled people took part in the ceremony in St Peter's Square.

    The service was co-celebrated by 157 cardinals with 700 bishops and 3,000 priests in attendance.

    In an addition to regularly scheduled train service, the faithful reached Rome on a thousand special trains—six special trains to and fro Poland brought 5,000 Polish pilgrims. Altogether 800,000 people came by rail.

    About 5,200 buses made the journey, 1,200 crossing the Italian-Austrian border at the town of Tarvisio (north-eastern Italy) alone.

    The world media zoomed in on the death and funeral of John Paul II. The press office of the Holy See released more than 6,000 accreditation and more than 80 TV stations broadcast the funeral live whilst a total of 137 networks from 81 countries in five continents covered the event.

    The flow of pilgrims is now directed at John Paul II's final resting place, in the Vatican crypt.

    Italian and foreign pilgrims, among them many Poles, student groups and tourists, are visiting the tomb where the Pope lies buried.

    Yesterday, the cardinals paid their respect before the Pontiff's tomb. (LF)

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    See also

    08/04/2005 VATICAN
    A million people attend John Paul II's funeral


    08/04/2005 VATICAN
    Wojtyła's death and the promising seed


    08/04/2005 vatican
    Card. Ratzinger: The love of Christ, the dominant force of our beloved Holy Father
    Here follows the text of the homily that card. Ratzinger gave at the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

    09/04/2005 ASIA - VATICAN
    Prayers and mourning for Pope's funeral throughout Asia


    15/04/2005 LEBANON
    Prayers for the conclave, conferences on John Paul II




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