CBC Digital Archives

Papal tour wraps up

It was one of the biggest events in Canadian history. On Sept. 9, 1984 Pope John Paul II kissed the tarmac in Quebec City to kick off the first Canadian papal visit. In the frenzied atmosphere of a rock concert, Canadians flocked for a fleeting glimpse of the Holy Father. Over the next 12 days the Pope stirred millions with his condemnation of injustice and poverty, along with his traditional stance on birth control and divorce.

With his historic visit to Canada over, the Supreme Pontiff is on a plane on his way home. Despite the hectic 12-day schedule, the Pope seems relaxed and in good spirits as he speaks to journalists in the crowded aisles of the aircraft. When asked about the trip, he says he's very satisfied. He hadn't expected such a warm welcome and was pleasantly surprised by the attitudes of Canadians.

He once again expresses his regret at having skipped Fort Simpson due to bad weather and promises to return. Pope John Paul then boards a helicopter which will take him to his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, Italy for some much deserved rest.
. More than 13.5 million Canadians tuned into some portion of the CBC's papal visit coverage during his first week in Canada.
. At the time of the tour the Toronto Star reported that his favourite late-night snack is a bowl of chopped apples. He enjoys a glass of scotch, no ice, and drinks his fruit juices cool but not cold.

. Over the 12-day pilgrimage the Pope gave 34 scripted sermons and speeches.
. The Pope still maintains a hectic schedule but his health is slowly deteriorating. In January 2001, one of his doctors publicly acknowledged that the pontiff has Parkinson's disease.
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Sept. 21, 1984
Reporter: Brian Stewart
Duration: 2:06

Last updated: January 17, 2012

Page consulted on January 29, 2014

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

The 1984 Papal Visit

It was one of the biggest events in Canadian history. On Sept. 9, 1984 Pope John Paul II kisse...

1987: The Pope travels North, keeping his pro...

John Paul II finally visits Fort Simpson.

1981: Pope John Paul II is shot

The attempted assassination of the Pope shocks the world.

Brushes with royalty

Canadians recall their close (or distant) encounters with Queen Elizabeth in Canada.