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Last Updated: Sunday April 03 2005 09:40 GMT

Crowds mourn the Pope in Rome


By Lizo Mzimba
BBC Newsround, Rome

Church bells tolled in St Peter's Square in Rome after the death of Pope John Paul II was announced to the crowds here.

People have been gathering for days, ever since the Pope's illness was revealed.

The news of his death of Saturday was expected, but still affected people deeply. Many have been praying here, others have been in tears.

Candlelight

St Peter's Square in Rome is a very special place for Catholics.

St Peter's Square in Rome
Crowds have been gathering in St Peter's Square in Rome
The Pope's Vatican apartments overlook the Sqauare, and it was here that he regularly appeared to bless the crowds and pray with them.

Many have been here since Saturday night, which they spent huddled by candlelight, and thousands of others have been gathering here throughout Sunday.

People from all over the world are here, and people of all ages.

Mourning

John Paul II had been Pope for more than 26 years. For many, he's the only Pope they have ever known. And they'll never forget him.

They've come here to be close to him as the Catholic Church and the world mourns his death.




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