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Pope Francis prays in front of John Paul II's tomb

· The evening of 2 April, the eighth anniversary of his death ·

On Tuesday evening, 2 April, Pope Francis prayed in front of John Paul II's tomb on the eighth anniversary of his death. After the Basilica closed for the evening at 7:00 p.m. the Holy Father went to the Chapel of St Sebastian where he stayed for a long time kneeling in silent prayer at the tomb of Pope Wojtyła, to whom he was particularly tied. It was the Polish Pope himself who created him a cardinal on  21 February 2001.

The Pope went with Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica, and with  Mons.  Alfred Xuereb. He then stopped for a moment in front of the tombs of Blessed John XXIII and St Pius X.

After his visit on Monday, 1 April, to the tomb of St Peter at the Vatican Necropolis – origin of the Roman Pontificate – and to the tombs of Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII and John Paul I, Pope Francis expressed his desire to return to the Basilica to pay tribute to the other predecessors in prayer. This was a testimony of the “deep spiritual continuity of the Petrine ministry of the Popes” according to a note by the Holy See Press Office which accompanies the news of his visit,  “which Pope Francis intensely lives and feels, as he displayed in his meeting and repeated telephone discussions with his Predecessor Benedict XVI”.

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