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St Catherine of Siena

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Fireworks at the Vatican

 Shortly after eight o'clock last night, Pope John Paul II, to the surprise of the thousands of pilgrims assembled in St Peter's Square, appeared at his study window to watch the firework display organized by the city of Rome as part of the celebrations in honour of his silver jubilee as Pope. At the end of the pyrotechnic display, the Holy Father told the crowd that he "greatly enjoyed the fireworks" for which he thanked the mayor of Rome and "the beloved city of Rome for the affection that even in this manner wishes to show me. For this I bless all the citizens. May Christ bless you all!" The public continued to applaud and wave handkerchiefs, prompting the Pope to "wish everyone a beautiful evening. Good night," he said, as he left the window, having appeared for almost a half hour. The fireworks were accompanied by and synchronized to the music of "Missa pro Pace," which was composed for Pope John Paul by the Polish musician, Kilar Wojciech, and performed in the Vatican, in the presence of the Holy Father, on December 7, 2001 by the chorus and National Philharmonic Orchestra of Warsaw. Source: VIS