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2.5 million visit Pope at Vatican in 2001

John Paul II in 2001 met with 2.5 million faithful in public events, not including parish visits and pastoral trips, the Vatican reported.

The Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, the institution that organises the Holy Father's public activities, revealed in an official statement on Monday that the statistics for 2001 include 43 Wednesday general audiences, special audiences, liturgical celebrations, and the Angelus. The last is the Pope's traditional meeting with pilgrims on Sundays and feast days.

According to 2001 data, 550,000 pilgrims met with the Pontiff in general audiences; 218,000 in special audiences; 980,000 in liturgical celebrations; and 810,000 in the Angelus.

The total number of people who personally saw the Holy Father last year was 2,558,300. The data do not include meetings with the Pope outside the Vatican.