VATICAN CITY — Tens of thousands of faithful had come to St. Peter’s Square as Pope John Paul II lay dying, some staying all night in quiet and emotional vigils.
After an evening prayer service April 2, then-Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, who was a top official of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, announced to the crowd that the pope had died at 9:37 p.m and “returned to the house of the Father.”
Catholic News Service’s Rome bureau covered those events with dozens of in-depth and colorful accounts of how the Eternal City and the world came together to honor the end of a truly historic papacy.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of St. John Paul’s death, we’ve compiled a slideshow that hits the highlights of his prophetic and memorable life. Further below are links to a sample of standout CNS stories that offer an insightful recap of the impact this pope made on the church and the world.
(Click the forward arrow to go to next slide. Click the gear icon and choose one of the formats (pdf, pptx, open editor…) to see the show best on a larger screen).
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A voice for the world, and apostle for the church:
As a voice of conscience for the world and a modern-day apostle for his church, Pope John Paul II brought a philosopher’s intellect, a pilgrim’s spiritual intensity and an actor’s flair for the dramatic… (full story)
A journalist’s reflection:
The Catholic News Service Rome bureau chief saw the beginning of John Paul’s papacy and tells what it was like to cover him. … (full story)
Important dates in Pope John Paul’s life, ponticate: (full story)
Diplomatic coup: Pope’s funeral brings together bitter adversaries:
Pope John Paul’s funeral may have marked his last diplomatic coup when more than 200 heads of state and government delegates — some bitter adversaries — came together to pay their last respects. (full story)
Go to the CNS Special Section here to see more of our indepth coverage in 2005.