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Pope, five presidents to attend Mass for martyred 10th century saint

February 10, 1997

WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ The presidents of Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will join Pope John Paul II in June for millennium celebrations of a 10th century martyred saint.

In his sixth pilgrimage home, John Paul is to embark on a 12-city tour of Poland starting May 31 and ending June 10.

Included in his itinerary is a June 3 outdoor Mass in Gniezno, a western city that is the burial site of St. Adalbert, Poland’s second patron saint after St. Stanislaw.

The Rev. Krzysztof Redlak, spokesman for the Roman Catholic diocese of Gniezno, said those presidents attending were the leaders of five countries where St. Adalbert had lived. About 140,000 pilgrims also were expected at the Gniezno Cathedral, he said.

Brought up in Germany, St. Adalbert served as a bishop of Prague in 983 to 989. He later traveled to Hungary and lived in Poland. In 997, St. Adalbert was killed in Gdansk while on a mission to Prussia.

King Boleslaw I Chrobry, credited for expanding Poland in its early days and for bringing it into the orbit of Christianity and Western civilization, buried St. Adalbert in Gniezno, 180 miles west of Warsaw.

St. Adalbert is also known under his Polish name, St. Wojciech.

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