Make your own free website on

Pope John Paul II (L) meets a Polish folk group following his weekly general audience at Castelgandolfo, his summer retreat on the outskirts of Rome, in this August 7, 2002 file photo. The Pope, 84, who headed the Roman Catholic Church for 26 years and played a key role in the fall of communism in Europe, died on April 2, 2005, 1937 GMT, the Vatican said in a statement. The news was immediately announced to around 60,000 gathered in Saint Peter's Square and was met with a long applause, an Italian sign of respect. Bells tolled and many people wept openly. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/Files