Scotland's National Catholic magazine

40 years since Pope John Paul II’s 300,000 Glasgow crowd

Today marks 40 years since Pope St John Paul II drew a crowd of 300,000 people at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, which was the biggest in Scottish history.

The first reigning pope to visit Scotland, Pope St John Paul II visited nine cities and met Queen Elizabeth II and the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

His visit to Bellahouston Park was one of the five outdoor Masses he celebrated on the trip.

Met with a seven-minute applause, the Holy Father said that it was harder then than ‘appears to have been before’ to follow Christ.

“As believers, we are constantly exposed to pressures by modern society which would compel us to conform to the standards of this secular age, substitute new properties, restrict our aspirations at risk of compromising our Christian conscience,” he said.

Addressing the crowd as ‘beloved people of Scotland’, he concluded by wishing ‘you and all who are dear to you, wherever they may be, the abundance of God’s blessings, so that your families may prosper and peace and harmony may reign in your homes.’

Over 6,000 police officers were present as the assignation attempt on the Pope’s life took place just a year earlier.

The Holy Father also travelled to Edinburgh, in which he visited St Mary’s Cathedral, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and Murrayfield Stadium, where he was introduced by a pipe band.

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