Introduction

Westminster Cathedral

Pope John Paul II took a special train from Gatwick to celebrate Mass at Westminster Cathedral which focussed on the Baptismal Rite. The Holy Father said during the homily: "Today, for the first time in history, a Bishop of Rome sets foot on English soil. I am deeply moved at this thought. This fair land, once a distant outpost of the pagan world, has become, through the preaching of the Gospel, a beloved and gifted portion of Christ's vineyard.” As the service ended the Pope made his way to the Cathedral's West Door balcony to bless the cheering crowds outside. Margaret Le Foe lived adjacent to the Cathedral at the time and recalls of that night: “It was the most extraordinary feeling because everyone in Victoria was so happy. That night had been the most extraordinarily warm night and at about one o’clock in the morning I went onto my balcony and the whole piazza was crowded with people just milling about and talking to each other saying: ‘I’m not a Catholic but isn’t it lovely… oh he’s so gorgeous!’ And this sort of upsurge of lovely feelings for him was just fantastic.”

Westminster Cathedral

John Paul II Holy Mass In Westminster Cathedral, London, 28 May 1982

Today, for the first time in history, a Bishop of Rome sets foot on English soil. I am deeply moved at this thought. This fair land, once a distant outpost of the pagan world, has become, through the preaching of the Gospel, a beloved and gifted portion of Christ’s vineyard. 

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Audio

Westminster Homily: PT1

Pope John Paul II preaches this homily at Westminster Cathedral in 1982. Part one of three.

  JPII-wmstr-homily-pt1.mp3 3.60 MB
Audio

Westminster Homily: PT2

Pope John Paul II preaches this homily at Westminster Cathedral in 1982. Part two of three.
  JPII-wmstr-homily-pt2.mp3 3.68 MB
Audio

Westminster Homily: PT3

Pope John Paul II preaches this homily at Westminster Cathedral in 1982. The last of three parts.   JPII-wmstr-homily-pt3.mp3 2.72 MB
Audio

Westminster Reading

Audio of the first reading at Westminster Cathedral during Pope John Paul II's visit in 1982. A reading from the prophet Ezekiel 34: 11-12, 15-17.
  wmstr-ezekiel-reading1982.mp3 790.11 kB
Audio

JPII: Margaret Le Foe

Margaret Le Foe lived alongside the square outside Westminster Cathedral in 1982 and has strong memories of the night after the Papal Mass.   JPII-le-foe.mp3 2.14 MB