John Paul II Celebrates Name Day

Attends Reading of His Poetry

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 4, 2003 ( John Paul II celebrated his name day today, the liturgical memorial of St. Charles Borromeo, with a lunch attended by some of his closest aides, including Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

The Pope’s name day (Nov. 4, for Karol or Charles) is a holiday in the Vatican. In fact, John Paul II celebrates this day, or that of his election to the papacy (Oct. 16), more than he does his birthday.

Today the Holy Father was in Paul VI Hall for the “Evening of the Holy Father’s Poetry,” organized for the anniversary of his pontificate. He also met with members of the John Paul II Foundation, and numerous Polish pilgrims.

At the social gathering, there were readings from “Roman Triptych,” the book of poetry he wrote in the summer of 2002, at the conclusion of a trip to Poland.

The Holy Father thanked the artists for the program and greeted pilgrims of the Polish Archdiocese of Danzica, who annually join him for his saint’s day. Polish pilgrims from Gniezno and Tarnow joined them.

John Paul II chose the occasion to give Archbishop Szczepan Wesoly, president of the executive council of the John Paul II Foundation, the decree by which the foundation’s renewed statute comes into force.

The foundation, the Pope said, is dedicated to “religious, cultural, scientific, pastoral and charitable activity in favor of Poles who live in the homeland and of those who are emigrants, to facilitate the consolidation of the existing traditional ties between the Polish nation and the Holy See, in order to promote the propagation of the patrimony of Polish Christian culture and further study of the doctrine of the Church.”

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