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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich proclaims Day of Mourning for Pope John Paul II
Day of Mourning to coincide with funeral in Vatican City

CHICAGOIn recognition of Pope John Paul II’s tremendous achievements and the millions who mourn his passing, Gov. Rod Blagojevich today proclaimed Friday, April 8, 2005 as a Day of Mourning for Pope John Paul II.  The proclamation coincides with the official funeral services that will be held on Friday in Vatican City. 
 
“In the days leading up to his passing, Pope John Paul II displayed the same level of dignity, perseverance, and strong convictions of faith and morals that characterized his long and accomplished Papacy,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “Here in Illinois, citizens are mourning this sad occasion.  However, we can all find comfort in knowing that Pope John Paul II has now returned home to his maker, and will live in peace for the rest of eternity.”
 
Pope John Paul II, who served as pope for 26 years, passed away on Saturday, April 2.  He is considered one of the most influential popes of the modern era, helping to bring an end to communism and spread democracy throughout the world. 
 
“I encourage all citizens, both Catholics and non-Catholics, to join in commemorating the life of one of the most beloved human beings, and one of the most accomplished popes that this world has ever seen,” concluded the governor in his proclamation.
 
On Friday, the Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago will toll the bells at 12:00 p.m. and hold special mass at 5:15 p.m., where a representative from every Chicago parish will attend. 
 
Last Sunday, the governor joined the congregation at St. Hyacinth’s Basilica to mourn the passing of Pope John Paul II.  The governor also issued a proclamation ordering flags at all State of Illinois facilities be flown at half-staff until the Pontiff is laid to rest.


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