John Paul II's Irish speeches online


The addresses and homilies that Pope John Paul II made during his visit to Ireland have been put on the web to commemorate the former pontiff's 1979 pilgrimage.

In a statement today, the Irish Bishops’ Conference said the speeches are available on to mark the visit to the State 30 years ago this month.

Included among the archive are audio recordings of the mass held by the pope in the Phoenix Park, Dublin; his homily in Drogheda on September 29th; homilies from the masses in Knock and Galway on September 30th, and Limerick on October 1st; and the Polish pontiff's address to clergy and religious orders in Maynooth.

The publication The Pope in Ireland - Addresses and Homilies, also provides text versions in a PDF booklet of the speeches, including the pope's address on his arrival at Dublin airport and on his departure from Shannon.

There are photographs of the highlights of the three-day trip and a video interview with Bishop Michael Smith in which he reflects on the visit.

Among other subjects, Bishop Smith, part of the original organising committee, reflects on the life of John Paul II, his rapport with young people, the changes in the faith landscape of Ireland, the beatification process of John Paul II, and why he was unable to visit the North as part of his pilgrimage.

Over the three days from September 30th to October 1st, 1979, in what was the third international pilgrimage of his pontificate, John Paul II spoke to some 2.5 million people at seven public venues.

Karol Josef Wojtyla was born in Wadowice (Krakow), Poland, in 1920 and was ordained a priest in 1946. After being consecrated cardinal in 1967, he was elected pope on October 16th, 1978, as successor to Pope John Paul I.

John Paul II's term of office was one of the longest in Catholic Church history, lasting nearly 27 years, and he died on April 2nd, 2005.