The anniversary of Pope John Paul II's death was remembered last night at the Vatican by Pope Benedict XVI and tens of thousands of people who gathered in and around St. Peter's Square during a candlelight vigil. Today, Benedict led a commemorative mass in John Paul's memory, and spoke of his predecessor's strong faith: "It was a solid, strong and authentic faith, free from fear and compromise, which infected the hearts of many people, also thanks to his numerous pilgrimages around the world, and especially thanks to that last 'journey', which was his agony and his death." Pope John Paul II died of an irreversible cardiovascular collapse and septic shock at 9:37pm on April 2, 2005. He was 84.
For The Pope Blog's archive of Pope John Paul II's final days, please see our March 2005 and April 2005 archives.