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Pope John Paul II addressed the group of schoolchildren from the Ossetian town of Beslan
Head of Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II addressed the group of schoolchildren from the Ossetian town of Beslan with Christmas greetings. Children attended the Sunday Mass on the St. Peter Square. After the service John Paul II addressed the traditional words of Christmas greetings to Catholic believers and pilgrims gathered on the St. Peter Square, standing at the window of his office in the Apostle's Palace. He delivers the traditional Christmas Address "Urbi et Orbi" (To the City and the World) from the same place at the end of December every year. Knowing that children from Beslan, who became victims of September 1-3 hostage-taking in a Beslan school were present in the crowd, the Pope personally addressed them. "Dear children from Beslan, I extend Christmas greetings to you," Pope John Paul II spoke in Russian. "Dear children, let the good that you are receiving now from many friends help you to heal the wounds suffered as a result of the terror befallen on you," he added in Italian. Switching to Russian again, the His Holiness pronounced, "Merry Christmas!" Thirty-two schoolchildren from North Ossetian town of Beslan came on vacation to Italy in November by the invitation of the administration of the northern Italian province of Trento. They stay in the Carmelite monastery Madonna della Laste. Currently, the children are travelling around Italy. Activists of several Italian humanitarian organizations organized the trip. On Saturday, Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni received the guests from Beslan in the municipal palace on the Capitol Hill.
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