Pope Paul appeared tired and weak and had to be helped by assistants as he celebrated mass in the basilica of st.
exterior of the basilica, pope arriving (interior) pope reciting a homily, pope washing and kissing feet ceremony,
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Background: Pope Paul appeared tired and weak and had to be helped by assistants as he celebrated mass in the basilica of st. John Lateran and washed the feet of twelve young seminarians. During the traditional Easter-week ceremony the Pope in an act of humility kissed and washed the feet of 12 young students of Italian Roman Catholic seminaries. One of these was the son of an exiled Polish couple. The ceremony recalled Christ's washing of the feet of his twelve disciples during the Last Supper. The Polish student was 13 year old Miroslav Buszek. The other students between 12 and 14 years old, were all Italians. While he celebrating mass and carrying out the washing of the feet ceremony rumours spread that he had died. An anonymous caller phoned the main Italian and foreign news agencies in Rome claiming that the Pope had died. Only two weeks ago the pope had a bout of influenza which forced him to cancel all engagements.