Rosary Letter to Be Signed on Papal Anniversary

Might Add Five More Mysteries to the Prayer, Says Report

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 14, 2002 ( John Paul II plans to celebrate the 24th anniversary of his pontificate this Wednesday by signing an apostolic letter on the rosary.

As announced earlier, the Pope hopes the document will help the faithful rediscover the «beauty and depth» of the rosary.

The ApBiscom agency reported Sunday that the document might add five mysteries to the rosary on the important moments of Jesus’ public life («mysteries of light»).

Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope on Oct. 16, 1978, succeeding John Paul I, who died a month after his election.

More than 10,000 people are expected to participate in the papal anniversary this Wednesday, which coincides with the general audience. John Paul II’s pontificate is the fifth longest in history.

The Vatican Press Office published a series of figures that summarize John Paul II’s work. His 98 trips outside Italy took him to 129 countries; those trips covered 1,154,997 kilometers (716,000 miles). He has made 142 trips inside Italy.

John Paul II has beatified 1,297 people and canonized 464 saints. He has presided over 1,055 general audiences, attended by 16.5 million pilgrims.

The Pontiff has received more than 1,430 political personalities, including 715 heads of state, who came to the Vatican on official or private visits.

He has published 13 encyclicals and 93 exhortations, constitutions, apostolic letters, and documents issued «motu proprio» (on his own initiative).

He has called eight consistories, created 201 cardinals, and appointed 70% of the world’s 4,500 bishops.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope’s vicar for Rome, has announced a series of religious and cultural activities that will take place during the 25th year of this pontificate. The events aim to motivate the faithful of Rome to study in greater depth the magisterium of this pontificate.

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