Pope receives new popemobile from auto company
John Paul II received the gift of a new popemobile at the end of his General Audience in St Peter's Square on Wednesday.
The Holy Father expressed appreciation for the vehicle, an M 430 Mercedes-Benz, coloured mother-of-pearl, which he received from representatives of the German-US firm DaimlerChrysler. The vehicle will be inaugurated in Toronto during World Youth Day.
Weather permitting, John Paul II crosses St Peter's Square for his general audiences in a white vehicle that enables him to greet thousands of pilgrims up close.
Following the 1981 attempt on his life, greater security measures were adopted, including "popemobile." It has bulletproof glass and has been used in most of John Paul II's international apostolic visits.
Daimler has donated several automobiles to popes since 1930. They may be viewed today in the Vatican's Museum of Papal Carriages.
7 Jun 2002