Catholics across Ireland today marked the first anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II with Masses celebrating his life.
Members of the Polish community who have settled in communities on both sides of the border took part in events in several Catholic Dioceses.
In the Irish ecclesiastical capital of Armagh, the Primate of Ireland, Archbishop Sean Brady, was the main celebrant in a commemorative Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Bishops also celebrated anniversary Masses for Pope John Paul II in Clonmacnoise, Drogheda, Galway and Limerick – all locations which featured in Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland in 1979.
In Belfast, Catholics remembered the Polish Pontiff at St Peter’s Cathedral and at all Masses in the dioceses of Down and Connor.
In Cork, a special Mass for Poles was celebrated at St Augustine’s Church with over 1,000 Polish people in attendance.
There were also Masses in Enniscorthy, Carlow, Newbridge, Cavan and Waterford.
Archbishop Brady said Pope John Paul II had given the world a tremendous example of how people should face death peacefully and courageously after illness.
“It was Easter time, of course, and the eve of Mercy Sunday, a time when the risen Christ tells us not to be afraid but to put our trust in his mercy,” Dr Brady recalled.
“Now, one year later, as we celebrate the first anniversary of Pope John Paul’s death we are also preparing to celebrate the anniversary of the death of Christ.
“Pope John Paul II bore his suffering with great patience and so gave hope to all who suffer at this time.”