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Vatican marks 24 years of John Paul II's leadership

Pope John Paul II yesterday celebrated the 24th anniversary of his election as head of the Church by declaring that he will fulfill his mission "until the end".

During mass at St Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II asked the Virgin Mary for her help in helping him "fulfill until the end the mission with which Christ entrusted me."

"On this day, I place in the hands of the Mother of God the life of the Church and the life, so tormented, of humanity," he said. "I also entrust her with my future."

John Paul II said a similar prayer at a mass in August during an emotional visit to his native Poland.

The Pope also proclaimed a "Year of the Rosary" from October 2002 to October 2003.


Pope Proclaims "Year of the Rosary" and Publishes Apostolic Letter (Zenit)
Vatican marks 24 years of John Paul II's leadership (AP)
Vatican holiday marks Pope's 24th anniversary (Catholic World News)
Pope John Paul II: 5th longest pontificate in history (Vatican Information Service)

17 Oct 2002