Papal Trip to Mexico in July Seems Likely

Canonization of Juan Diego to Follow World Youth Day

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 17, 2002 ( John Paul II will travel to Mexico at the end of July, after World Youth Day, to canonize Juan Diego, Vatican sources said.

ZENIT previously reported that the Pope might visit Mexico City after the World Youth Day in Toronto (July 25-28), to canonize the Indian who saw the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531.

Vatican sources denied reports, however, that the Holy Father has plans to visit the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York. The Roman daily Il Messaggero had reported the rumor earlier today.

Juan Diego´s canonization would be one of the most important religious events in Mexico, an event that could attract millions of people.

John Paul II has planned other international trips for 2002. The Bulgarian government confirmed that the Pontiff will visit Sofia from May 23-26. Press sources have said he might visit Poland in June, and Croatia in September.

John Paul II´s visit to Mexico, which would be his fifth to the country, must still be officially confirmed.

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