Pope Grateful for Prayers for His Family

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II found time to speak informally with pilgrims, especially Poles, after the midday Angelus, and he thanked them for their prayers for deceased members of his family.

After praying the Angelus on All Souls’ Day with more than 10,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope improvised with his compatriots.

In particular, he thanked the faithful of his former archdiocese, Krakow, for their prayers at the graves of his parents and his brother.

The Pope’s father, Karol, was at one time an officer of the Austro-Hungarian army and the Polish army. He died in 1941. The Pope’s mother, Emilia, died in 1929, when he was 9 years old. His brother Edmund died at 29 while attending to the sick.

During his last trip to Poland, on Aug. 18, 2002, John Paul II prayed at the grave of his loved ones, buried in the Rakowicki cemetery, near Krakow.

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