Friday, April 08, 2011

10 Facts about Pope John Paul II's Funeral (6 Years Ago Today)

Six years ago today, one of the most beloved popes of the past century was laid to rest, 6 days after his death at the age of 84. Here are the 10 most amazing facts about his funeral:

It was the largest funeral of all time with over 4 million people attending

Although not confirmed, some believe it was the most watched event in history (whether in person, live on television, or taped) with an estimated 2 billion people watching.

His funeral brought together the largest gathering of heads of state in history (outside the UN) with 70 prime ministers and presidents attending as well as four kings and five queens.

The pope was buried in 3 coffins, each inside the other. The first is cedar, which was lowered into a zinc coffin which was soldered shut and then lowered into a walnut casket.

The pope must be buried between 4 and 6 days after his death. JPII was buried at the latest time - 6 days.

The future pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, led the Requiem Mass.

The Requiem Mass was interrupted several times by applause, and at the end, the crowds shouted "Santo Subito", which translates from Italian to English as "Saint now!"

There was a very high level of security during the funeral, especially to address terrorism concerns. Measures included a no-fly zone with a 5-mile radius, deployment of anti-aircraft missiles, Italian warships armed with torpedoes, military jets, and an astounding one thousand snipers positioned in strategic locations.

No comments:

Post a Comment