24th anniversary of the Election of Pope John Paul II

16 Oct 2002

24th anniversary of the Election of Pope John Paul II

On the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the Election (16th October 1978) and Solemn Inauguration of the Pontificate of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II (22nd October 1978), a solemn celebration of the Eucharist will take place at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, on Saturday 19th October 2002 at 18.00. The principal celebrant will be the Apostolic Nuncio in Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, and the homilist, Prof. Fr. Gerry Hanratty.

His Eminence, Cardinal Desmond Connell, Archbishop of Dublin, will preside.

All Catholic Communities in Ireland are cordially invited to unite in prayer in a special way on that day, thanking God for the numerous gifts bestowed on the Church through the pastoral ministry of the Successor of Peter and imploring the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit upon him.

Further information:

Catholic Communications Office: (01) 505 3000
Fr Martin Clarke: (087) 220 8044
Ms Brenda Drumm: (087) 233 7797



VATICAN CITY, OCT 15, 2002 (VIS) – Tomorrow, October 16, marks the 24th anniversary of the election of Pope John Paul to the papacy. The white smoke from the Sistine Chapel indicating the election of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, archbishop of Krakow, to the See of Peter was seen at 6:18 p.m. on October 16, 1978. At 6:45 p.m. Cardinal Pericle Felici announced that there was a new Pope and that he had chosen the name of John Paul II. At 7:15 p.m. the first Polish Pope in Church history appeared at the central loggia
of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Only four Popes, including St. Peter, have reigned longer than Pope John Paul II. In ascending order, they are: Pius VI (24 years, 6 months, 7 days); Leo XIII (25 years, 5 months); Pius IX (31 years, 7 months, 21 days) and St. Peter (dates unknown).

Next Tuesday, October 22 marks the 24th anniversary of the solemn inauguration of Pope John Paul II’s pontificate. Statistics on his pontificate have been compiled by both Vatican Radio, which helps to organise the papal trips abroad, and by the Holy See Press Office.

John Paul II has made 98 foreign apostolic trips to 129 different countries, travelling a total of 1,236,702 kilometers (742,020 miles) which is approximately three times the distance to the moon. He has made 142trips within Italy. He has given over 3,300 speeches during those trips and has spent an estimated 11.5 percent of his pontificate outside of Rome.

As Bishop of Rome he has visited 301 of the diocese’s 334 parishes.

The Holy Father has written 13 encyclicals, 13 apostolic exhortations, 11 apostolic constitutions, 41 apostolic letters and 28 Motu proprio. A new document on the rosary is expected tomorrow, October 16.

The Pope has proclaimed 1,297 Blesseds (1025 martyrs and 272 confessors) in 135 beatification ceremonies, and 464 Saints (401 martyrs and 63 confessors) in 47 canonisation ceremonies.

John Paul II has held eight consistories for the creation of cardinals and has named a total of 201 cardinals. The most recent consistory was in February 2001. The current College of Cardinals is composed of 171 members, 90 percent of whom have been named by Pope John Paul: Of these, 115 are eligible to vote.

He has convened six plenary reunions of the College of Cardinals and there have been 15 synods during his pontificate: 6 ordinary general assemblies, 1 extraordinary general assembly, 7 special assemblies and 1 particular synod.

Pope John Paul has held over 1,430 audiences and meetings with political figures, including 38 official visits by heads of state, 677 other audiences with heads of state and 219 audiences and encounters with prime ministers.

He has presided over 1,055 weekly general audiences (this figure includes tomorrow’s audience) in the presence of approximately 16,561,000 faithful from every part of the world.

(Source: Vatican Information Service)