Pope John Paul II dies in Vatican

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The Pope died at 2137 local time (1937 GMT) in the Vatican on Saturday following a series of worsening health problems including a heart condition.

Many thousands of people gathered in Rome's St Peter's Square to pay tribute to the pontiff, while church bells throughout the city began tolling.

He is said to have continued to receive visitors until close to the end.

According to the last medical bulletin issued just two hours before he died he had been able to respond occasionally to those around him.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said a mass was held at his bedside by senior officials before his death, at 2000.

The Pope then received the Saint Viaticum, a Catholic rite for the sick and dying which was also administered to him on Thursday.

The Italian government has declared three days of mourning.

The Pope is to lie in state in St Peter's Basilica from Monday afternoon onwards, the Vatican said.

His funeral will be held on Wednesday, Italian TV reported, though there has been no official confirmation of this.

The ceremony will be the "largest concentration of world leaders ever seen", the TV said.

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RIP

He was a righteous dude.

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