VATICAN CITY, MARCH 2, 2004 ( Capitals of the 10 countries that will soon enter the European Union will participate when John Paul II leads the praying of a rosary on European University Day.

"Christ, Europe's Hope" is the title of the 2nd European University Day. The March 13 event is being sponsored by the Council of European Episcopal Conferences and the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community, and organized by the Vicariate of Rome's Office for Pastoral Work in Universities.

The climax of the day -- a Marian vigil with the Pope in Paul VI Hall at 6 p.m. -- will be broadcast via satellite to the 10 capitals: Tallinn, Vilnius, Riga, Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Budapest, Valletta and Nicosia.

Connections with these countries will be facilitated by the Vatican Television Center in collaboration with the Italian Ministry for Communications. The event will broadcast live via satellite and through the CTV Web page.

Monsignor Lorenzo Leuzzi, director of the Office for University Pastoral Care, mentioned last year's rosary with the Pope and said: "None of us can forget the enthusiasm and emotion of the link with Moscow, which ensured a sort of 'virtual visit' of John Paul II to the 'third Rome.'"

Italian university and music school choirs, with more than 1,800 choristers, will join in the vigil.

Before the Holy Father's arrival, university students will reflect on the postsynodal apostolic exhortation "Ecclesia in Europa."

The Pope is scheduled to arrive at 6:30 p.m. All cities linked by satellite will join in the praying of the rosary. An address by the Pope will follow.

More details are available at the Italian-language site