VATICAN CITY, NOV. 13, 2003 ( John Paul II presided over the annual Mass in memory of the cardinals and bishops who died in the past year, and prayed for those who have died in attacks in Iraq.

The Pope prayed for seven cardinals and a patriarch, as well as for dozens of bishops. He also mentioned the Italians killed in Nassiriya, Iraq, on Wednesday.

The ceremony was held today in the papal chapel in St. Peter's Basilica. The Pontiff expressed his closeness to the deceased cardinals, saying, "The memory of the cardinals who have left us was particularly present during the recent consistory."

He then named the cardinals who died over the past 12 months: Hans Hermann Gröer, archbishop emeritus of Vienna; Gerald Emmett Carter, archbishop emeritus of Toronto; Aurelio Sabattini, prefect emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura; Francesco Colasuonno, former apostolic nuncio in Italy and former papal representative in Russia; Ignacio Antonio Velasco Garcia, archbishop of Caracas; Corrado Ursi, archbishop emeritus of Naples; and Maurice Michael Otunga, archbishop emeritus of Nairobi.

John Paul II also remembered Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid of the Chaldean Church, whose see was in Baghdad.

In his brief homily, the Pope also remembered the bishops who died, without listing their names. "It is a consolation to think that all these venerated brothers, zealous servants of the Gospel during their earthly life, are now in God's caring hands," he said.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and dean of the College of Cardinals, celebrated the Mass. During the prayers, mention was also made of the "victims of the cruel attack in Iraq" and prayers were raised for "the wounded and their families."

Italian military authorities confirmed today that 18 Italians died in the attack on their military base in Iraq -- 12 policemen, four soldiers and two civilians -- and nine Iraqis.