31 Dec. 1999
Vatican City, Italy (Italian Republic)
Pope John Paul II blesses faithful from atop a mobile wooden platform with wheels as he leaves a years-end vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica December 31. For the second time in days the Pope did not walk up the central aisle of the Basilica. The Pope, who is fullfilling a personal dream of his papacy by surviving to lead his Church across the threshold of 2000, bade a mixed farewell to the old millennium.