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Pope Shortens Session for Eclipse

August 11, 1999

VATICAN CITY (AP) _ Pope John Paul II today told his weekly audience of pilgrims he was keeping the session short so they could see the solar eclipse.

The audience, in a hall just off St. Peter’s Square, was held this morning, hours before the eclipse.

John Paul has been staying at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, in the hills southeast of Rome, and shuttling by helicopter to and from the retreat for the weekly audiences.

``I’m finishing up now, because I know that some of you are in a hurry to see the eclipse of the sun,″ John Paul said, speaking in Italian, the first of several languages he used to greet the pilgrims.

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