A Milestone Christmas for John Paul II

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 24, 2002 (ZENIT.org).- John Paul II will celebrate his 25th Christmas as Pope with a demanding schedule of intense liturgical celebrations.



His Midnight Mass tonight in St. Peter's Basilica will be televised worldwide. At noon Christmas he will impart his traditional blessing to the city of Rome and the world in more than 60 languages. This year he will give his blessing from the atrium of the basilica, rather than from the balcony.

To mark the 25th Christmas of this pontificate, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications has invited choirs from around the world to participate in a 24-hour televised special. The event will be broadcast on Christmas via television, cable and Internet.

"Vatican Christmas 2002" begins at 11 p.m. tonight (Rome time). It can be followed at http://www.vaticanchristmas2002.com.