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More than 200 world leaders joined an estimated 350,000 pilgrims for the funeral of Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's square (Rome) today. Many more packed the streets of Rome and millions around the world stopped to watch the funeral on TV. After a three-hour open-air service, the crowd applauded as the Pope’s coffin was carried into St Peter’s Basilica to be buried in the crypt. Among those in attendance were presidents and dignitaries from Italy, the UK, France, Germany, the US, Iran, Brazil, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, Kenya, DRC, Syria and Afghanistan, and representatives of Christian, Jewish, Buddist and Muslim churches around the World.
For the last week mourners have been flocking to Rome to pay their last respects to Pope John Paul II who died on April 2. The Pope’s body rested in St Peter’s Basilica until his funeral on Friday. More than 2 millon visitors queued peacefully along Via della Conciliazione and then into Saint Peter's Square in Rome, often spending more than 10 hours day and night in line to pay their respect to John Paul II. Political and religious leaders across the worldalso paid tribute to the pontiff, praising him for his achievements duringhis 26-year reign.
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