A host of events was due to be held as Poles on Sunday remembered John Paul II, the late Polish-born pope who headed the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005.
Poland’s Roman Catholics were on Sunday marking Papal Day, an annual celebration that focuses on remembering and exploring the teachings of John Paul II, who was declared a saint less than a decade after his death.
This year’s Papal Day, being observed for the 18th time, promised to be special as 2018 marks 40 years since Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyła was elected Pope John Paul II, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency has reported.
Ceremonies were being held under the motto of “The Radiation of Fatherhood” in reference to the title of a play that the future pontiff penned in 1964 about God and man, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, the metropolitan bishop of Warsaw, has told the news agency.
Celebrations were scheduled to begin with a morning Mass at Warsaw’s Holy Cross Basilica and included a music concert at the Temple of Divine Providence in the Polish capital later in the day.
Papal Day is celebrated every year on the Sunday preceding the date Cardinal Wojtyła was elected to the papacy.
John Paul II served as pope from October 16, 1978 until his death on April 2, 2005.
He was the third longest-serving pontiff in history and was declared a saint in 2014.