Pope pays tribute to St John Paul II on centenary

Karol Wojtyła was born 100 years ago today.

Pope Francis will offer Mass at the altar of the tomb of St John Paul II in St Peter’s Basilica on 18 May, to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Polish pontiff, born Karol Wojtyła in Wadowice, Poland.

Francis said that his predecessor is remembered “with much affection and gratitude”, saying: “From heaven may he continue to intercede for the People of God and peace in the world.”

The pope's Mass in St Peter's coincides with the reopening to the public of the papal basilica, following a two-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Born on 18 May 1920, Wojtyła was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005, and was canonised by Pope Francis in 2014.

More than 15 years after the death of JPII, postcards and calendars of the popular figure are still on sale in tourist shops across Rome.

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Address Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City

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Pope pays tribute to St John Paul II on centenary

Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City