Pope John Paul II arrives at Gatwick Airport

His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, was greeted by Cardinal Basil Hume and the then Bishop of Arundel and Brighton (Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor), shortly after his plane landed at London Gatwick Airport. In keeling to kiss the British soil his thirteenth Pastoral Visit began. Addressing the crowds he said: "So I begin my pastoral visit to Britain with the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ: 'Peace be with you'. May the God of peace and reconciliation be with you all. May he bless your families and homes with his deep and abiding peace." Cardinal Cormac reminisces of greeting the Holy Father twenty-five years ago: “I said: ’Welcome Holy Father, it’s going to be a great week for you’, and then coming out of the plane he came down I stood behind him and it was a wonderful moment, and obviously he remembered it because next time I saw him I met him in Rome and said: ‘Hello Holy Father, it’s good to see you again’ and he said: 'Ah the Bishop of Gatwick!' So he remembered Gatwick."


Pope John Paul II's opening address at Gatwick

Pope John Paul II's opening address at Gatwick Airport in 1982 at the start of his Pastoral Visit to Great Britain.
Gatwick Airport

Pope John Paul II's welcome address at Gatwick Airport, 28 May 1982

Praised be Jesus Christ! I appreciate very much the cordial welcome expressed by His Grace the Duke of Norfolk in the name of Her Majesty the Queen. And w...Read more