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Friday 19 September 2014

All roads lead to Rome with John Paul car sticker

Sarah Mac Donald

Published 23/04/2014 | 02:30

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The image of John Paul II at Shannon has been immortalised for a bumper sticker.

THE image of Pope John Paul II will soon be appearing on car bumpers as a parish priest has come up with a novel way of marking his canonisation.

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New car stickers show the Polish pontiff imparting his blessing at Shannon Airport in 1979 before he boarded his flight from Ireland. The sticker implores: 'John Paul protect us'.

Shannon was the last parish in Ireland that the Pope set foot in when he visited the country, and Fr Tom Ryan has printed 10,000 car stickers featuring the last recorded photo of the late John Paul on Irish soil.

The photo was taken by Shannon parishioner and local photographer, Padraig O'Reilly, while the sticker was officially launched by Bishop Kieran O'Reilly, who is leading a pilgrimage to Rome for the canonisation of John Paul and John XXIII.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Fr Ryan said John Paul II was the most-travelled Pope in history.

"The saint's protection is a source of reassurance for all who travel on our roads and in the air that they will do so in safety," he said.

The 53-year-old priest said the sticker also encourages people to use Shannon Airport, just like John Paul II did.

The car sticker initiative is a joint venture between Shannon parish and Shannon Airport.

More than half of the initial batch of 10,000 stickers have already been given out locally and to members of the Polish community, who are delighted that it recognises their beloved countryman and the link between their homeland and their adopted homeland.

The stickers are available free from: www.shannonparish.ie.

Irish Independent

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