February 11-13, 2000
volume 11, no. 30
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

Unforgettable Gatherings Begin for the Jubilee of the Sick

    VATICAN CITY, FEB 10 (ZENIT).- Thousands of sick people from around the globe have made a point of coming to Rome to participate in the Jubilee of the sick. At least four thousand seriously physically-handicapped people will meet with Pope John Paul II today at the Jubilee Mass he will celebrate -- a total of fifteen thousand, including care personell, have requested the free tickets.

    This Jubilee involves one of the greatest organizational efforts for the Vatican and the city of Rome. No detail serving to prevent understandable obstacles has been left to chance, in order give these pilgrims -- some in wheelchairs, some with crutches -- a hearty welcome. The numbers speak for themselves: Rome's municipal transportation commission has added almost 140 buses equipped with special platforms and wheelchairs, two thousand volunteers have been mobilized, eighty doctors are on standby at the residences that will house them, and in the zones to be traveled by these pilgrims the number of first aid stations has been increased.

    The program of celebrations began Thursday afternoon with an opening Eucharistic celebration in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, in which eight thousand sick people participated; 836 of them in wheelchair, and 6 on beds. This spiritual meeting opens the door to a whole series of suggestive encounters. After the Mass with the Holy Father tomorrow morning, an evening candle-light procession in honor of Mary will be celebrated on Via della Conciliazione, the street which leads up to St. Peter's Square from the Tiber River. The day will end with a sound and light show in front of St. Peter's Basilica.

    On Saturday morning there will be a Way of the Cross at the Coliseum, and in the afternoon the sick will become protagonists in a Festival of testimonies, prayer, and music in the Paul VI Audience Hall. Finally, the pilgrims will bid farewell at Holy Cross of Jerusalem Church.

    Thursday, a two-day Congress held in preparation for this Jubilee drew to a close in the Vatican. Sessions took place in groups divided by categories, and the conclusions of the Congress will be distributed to the healthcare personnel involved in the debates: doctors, nurses, and pharmaceutical representatives. ZE00021004


February 11-13, 2000
volume 11, no. 30

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