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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 April 2005, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Pope death: Official announcement
The full text of the first announcement of Pope John Paul II's death on Saturday, 2 April 2005.

The Holy Father died this evening at 2137 (1937 GMT) in his private apartment.

The procedure foreseen by the apostolic constitution in "Universi Dominici gregis", promulgated by John Paul II on 22 February 1996, has been put into place.


A later, fuller statement said:

The Holy Father died at 2137 (1937 GMT) this evening in his private apartment.

At 2000 (1800 GMT) the celebration of Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday began in the Holy Father's room, presided by Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz with the participation of Cardinal Marian Jaworski, of Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko and of Mrgr [Monsignor] Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki.

During the course of the Mass, the Viaticum was administered to the Holy Father and, once again, the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.

The Holy Father's final hours were marked by the uninterrupted prayer of all those who were assisting him in his pious death, and by the choral participation in prayer of the thousands of faithful who, for many hours, had been gathered in St Peter's Square.

Present at the moment of the death of John Paul II were: his two personal secretaries Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz and Msgr Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, Cardinal Marian Jaworski, Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, Father Tadeusz Styczen, the three nuns, Handmaidens of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who assist in the Holy Father's apartment, guided by the Superior Sr [Sister] Tobiana Sobodka, and the Pope's personal physician Dr Renato Buzzonetti, with the two doctors on call, Dr Alessandro Barelli and Dr Ciro D'Allo, and the two nurses on call.

Immediately afterwards Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano arrived, as did the camerlengo of Holy Roman Church, Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Secretariat of State, and Archbishop Paolo Sardi, vice-camerlengo of Holy Roman Church.

Thereafter, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, and Cardinal Jozef Tomko also arrived.

Tomorrow, Divine Mercy Sunday, at 1030 (0830 GMT), a Mass for the repose of the soul of the Holy Father will be celebrated in St Peter's Square, presided over by Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

At 1200 (1000 GMT), the Marian prayer of Easter time, the Regina Coeli, will be recited.

The body of the late pontiff is expected to be brought to the Vatican Basilica no earlier than Monday afternoon.

The first General Congregation of Cardinals will be held at 1000 (0800 GMT) on Monday, 4 April in the Bologna Hall of the Apostolic Palace.


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