British Prime Minister and Family Attend Pope's Private Mass

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 24, 2003 ( British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his family attended Mass on Sunday celebrated by John Paul II in his private chapel.

The invitation arose spontaneously during the audience the Holy Father granted to Blair, an Anglican, his wife, Cherie, and three of their four children (all Catholics) a day earlier.

The Blair family arrived in St. Peter's Square at 7:20 a.m. from the Pontifical Irish College, where he was staying in Rome.

The Pope likes to invite pilgrims to attend the Mass he celebrates daily in his private chapel on the fourth floor of the Apostolic Palace. The chapel can seat 40 people.