BY TRACY-JO SMITH
A MOUNTAIN ill the South Pole has been named after one of the world's most farnous Poles.
The 3,700ft mountain, which lies at 80 degrees south latitude and 81 degrees west longitude, was named "Mount John Paul II" by an expedition led by a Vatican official.
In the past, the Pontiff has lent his name to streets, city squares and babies, but this latest namesake caps the lot.
The expedition, organised by Mgr Liberio Andreatta, head of the Vatican's pilgrimage tour agency, was a re-run of a failed December 2001 South Pole expedition, abandoned because of bad weather.
When Mgr Andreatta reached the Pole, he celebrated Mass in temperatures of 20'below zero, planted a cross, and named the mountain in honour of the 25th anniversary of the Pope's election to the chair of Peter. Present also was a general from Italy's alpine military branch.
The same office. the Roman Office for Pilgrimages, sent an expedition to the North Pole for Easter 2002.
Then Mgr Andreatta planted a cross blessed by the Pope at the North Pole. The two occasions led Mgr Andreatta to observe that now "the Cross has become the axis of the world".
John Ryan: Page 9