Thousands of faithful entered the Vatican Gardens’ arch of bells at 7:30 p.m. with torches offered by the Sts. Peter and Paul Lay Association.
On this occasion, the Rosary was dedicated to John Paul II’s intentions. The Holy Father himself was at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, where he is spending the summer holidays, in the 25th year of his pontificate.
The procession “aux flambeaux” took place in St. John’s Tower, before the image of the Virgin of Divine Love.
The Rosary, prayed entirely in Latin, ended with the singing of the “Salve Regina” at the foot of the statue of the Virgin of Mercy.
Those unable to participate in the ceremony were able to follow it on Vatican Radio.
During the final prayer, Vatican Radio was connected with the convent of cloistered Carmelite nuns who live inside the Vatican, by the express wish of the Pope.
The Schola Cantorum of the parish of St. Anne of the Vatican, under the direction of Maestro don Gaetano Civitello, sang Marian motets, which were alternated with the 33rd Canto of Paradise, interpreted by Claudio Capone.