Pope John Paul celebrated the first mass of his reign as supreme pastor and leader of the world's 700 million Roman Catholics in St.
Pope John Paul celebrated the first mass of his reign as supreme pastor and leader of the world's 700 million Roman Catholics in St. Peter's Square on Sunday (3 September). Earlier he had praying in the Basilica at the tomb of the first Pope, St. Peter.
SYNOPSIS: This was the first time in centuries that a Pope has begun his reign with such a simply investiture, and no coronation. In place of a crown, the Pope received the pallium, a strip of white wool with six black crosses which express the Pope's position of Patriarch. The thousands gathered there heard the singing of the choir of the Sistine Chapel.
One hundred and twenty-six Cardinals took part in the mass, along with Kings, Queens, Dukes, Princes, Presidents, Prime Ministers and other dignitaries from more than one hundred nations. Members of the Pope's family sat nearby. During the ceremony left-wing demonstrators were protesting at the presence of Argentina's President Jorge Videl.
After receiving the Cardinals in front of the largest crowd in St. Peter's Square for years, the Pope rose to intone the "Gloria".