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30 November 1986 Pope Paul’s visit

30 November 1986     Pope Paul’s visit

On Sunday 30 November 1986 Pope Paul, on his first visit to Australia as head of the Catholic Church, conducted Mass for all South Australians at Victoria Park Racecourse. More than 180,000 people gathered under a hot sun to witness the Pope’s arrival in the Pope-mobile and join in the service. He led the congregation through the Mass which involved nine languages, including Pitjantjatjara, Polish and Vietnamese. Many ethnic people dressed in their national dress, particularly the Pontiff’s fellow Poles. The visit to Adelaide came towards the end of a tour of Australia; the day before the Pope had been in Darwin and after the service in Adelaide he left for Perth.

On his arrival on the Saturday night the route from the airport to the Town Hall, where he was given an official welcome, was lined by thousands of people holding candles. At the Town Hall the Pope lit the Advent Candle on the balcony as a symbol of peace and Christian faith.

Advertiser, 1 December 1986.

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