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BRATISLAVA : A Visit to Slovakia

June 27, 1995

Pope John Paul II begins a four-day trip to Slovakia on Friday, his first visit since the former Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

The papal tour begins in the capital, Bratislava, where the Pope will meet with the Slovak leadership and church leaders of the predominantly Roman Catholic country. The Pope will celebrate Sunday Mass at the airport of Kosice, canonizing three Slovak priests who were tortured and killed during Protestant militancy in 1619.

Officially banned under the Soviet Bloc, the Catholic community continued to practice its religion clandestinely.

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