Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Pope In Switzerland

Did you know Pope John Paul II made 3 trips to Switzerland during his 26 years as head of the Catholic Church.

His first official trip was on June 16, 1984 where he touched down in the Sion, canton of Valais. Sion has a well known air strip housing many of the trips for the Swiss Army's training. The mountains in this region are very known for their hair pin turns and maneuvors. No wonder it is used by many nations as a training ground.

Pope John Paul II spent six days in total touring Switzerland, during which he visited 14 towns and cities. Talk about a large travel schedule.

In 1982, on an unofficial trip to Geneva, he visited some of the international organisations based in the city.

Last June, 2004 he spent two days in the "Protestant" capital, Bern, where he attended a youth gathering of 13,000, and was present at a Mass which drew an estimated 70,000 of the faithful. Unfortunately I had already left onward back to North America at that time. What a scene that must have been.

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