3.2 Million Visited Pope in 2006

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 9, 2007 (Zenit.org).- More than 3.2 million faithful and pilgrims attended public meetings in 2006 with Benedict XVI in the Vatican or the papal summer residence.

The Prefecture of the Pontifical Household reported this figure, which does not include those who attended meetings with the Pope during his apostolic visits within and outside of Italy.

The number of faithful and pilgrims includes participants in the Wednesday general audiences, special audiences, liturgical celebrations and the recitation of the Angelus.

Last year, 45 general audiences were held, attended by a total of 1,031,500 visitors.

Special audiences gathered 357,120 visitors.

Crowds were the largest in April with 196,000 individuals attending celebrations.

In addition, 1,295,000 people took part in the recitation of the Angelus.

In 2005, when Benedict XVI began his pontificate, some 2.85 million people attended public meetings with the Pope.