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Published: 27 August 2021

By Andy Ross

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Article of the week - number eighty-two - a flag for a Pope

Pope John Paul the Second, known as "The Pilgrim Pope", travelled extensively and paid a visit to Ireland in 1979, the first Pontiff to do so.

The visit of the Pope that year was part of a world tour that saw him in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the Bahamas, Poland, the USA, Turkey and Ireland. This flag came from the momentous visit to Ireland which coincided with the centenary of the Knock apparitions. Pope John Paul II visited the shrine during his three day tour and celebrated Mass with 450,000 people. More than two and a half million people turned out to see the Pope during his visit. This flag references a Bible chapter and verse - John 17: 21 which calls for the people of the world to be united. 

After the tour ended many of the items used during the occasion were auctioned off; this news report shows some of them. The flag in the collection comes from this sale and was bought in 2020 from another auction.