Benedict XVI Visits John Paul II Exhibit

VATICAN CITY, JULY 8, 2011 ( Before leaving the Vatican for Castel Gandolfo, Benedict XVI on Wednesday visited an exhibit dedicated to Blessed John Paul II.

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The Vatican exhibit brings viewers through the life of the Polish Pontiff using pictures, images and other items, which span from his childhood to his funeral, to the canonical process that culminated in his beatification.

The exhibition shows the kayak used in the 60s by then Auxiliary Bishop Karol Wojtyła of Krakow. It includes his ski boots, too, and a stone from the Zakrzowek quarries; the badge of a Solvay worker, where he worked during World War II; and the reproduction of a manifesto of a literary evening in which he participated.

Also on display is the request for admission to diaconal ordination, dated Oct. 13, 1946, and a permit to have a bike obtained in June of 1956. There is the scapular of the Virgin of Carmel that he always wore, his amber rosary, his priestly cassock, his episcopal ring and some of his literary works translated into several languages.

Benedict XVI was also able to see images of the May 13, 1981, assassination attempt, and sections dedicated to jubilees and World Youth Days, including the original wooden cross entrusted by John Paul II to young people at Easter of 1984.

Benedict XVI was accompanied by Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

The exhibition, organized by the Governorate and the Polish Embassy to the Holy See, opened last April 28 and will close on July 24. Entrance is free.

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