VATICAN CITY, JUNE 4, 2003 ( John Paul II personally greeted a group of handicapped athletes who will participate in the "Special Olympics" World Summer Games.

At the end of today's general audience in St. Peter's Square, the Pope addressed the handicapped present, many of whom were from the institutes of Don Orione's work, and said he hoped that that event would "constitute for each one a providential occasion to reaffirm their fervent adherence to Christ and his Gospel."

The Special Olympics will be held June 21-29 in Dublin, Ireland, with the participation of 7,000 athletes, 3,000 trainers and official delegates, and 28,000 relatives and friends.

The 166 international delegations will take part in 21 sports. And 30,000 volunteers will assist.


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