Pope John Paul II will give his Christmas benediction from Saint Peter's Square instead of the traditional basilica window which overlooks the square due to health reasons, a Vatican official said Friday.
It is easier and more comfortable for the 80-year old pontiff, whose health is failing and now walks with the help of cane, to give the blessing from the more accessible square, said event organizer Piero Marini.
He will arrive at the square Monday and greet the crowd from his famous popemobile.
After Christmas the pope will take a few days rest at his official residence at Castelgandolfo, before returning to the Vatican on December 31.
The pope has held a long string of Jubilee celebrations for specific professional groups during the Catholic holy year which began on Christmas Eve last year and will end on January 6 with the closure of Saint Peter's Holy Door -- VATICAN CITY (AFP)
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