John Paul II Dies at 84

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 2, 2005 ( John Paul II died tonight in his Vatican apartment. He was 84.

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«At 9:37 p.m. (2:37 p.m. EST) our Holy Father returned to the House of the Father,» said Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Secretariat of State, announcing the Pope’s death to more than 60,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The archbishop made the announcement at 10 p.m. (3 p.m. EST), immediately after the crowd had finished praying the Rosary for John Paul II.

The pilgrims intoned the «Salve Regina,» which was followed by prolonged applause. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, began to pray the «De Profundis,» in Latin and Italian.

The majority of the faithful knelt down, many of them with tears in their eyes.

A few minutes later, the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica tolled the death of the Bishop of Rome.

Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls notified the press via e-mail.

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