Pope Francis reminds Poles about 15th anniversary of John Paul II's death

The Pope's General Audience was held via live streaming from the Vatican Library without the faithful in attendance. Vatican Media/PAP/EPA

At a general audience in Rome on Wednesday, Pope Francis encouraged Poles to entrust themselves to the intercession of Saint John Paul II in the time of the coronavirus threat, and reminded the faithful of the 15th anniversary of the death of the late Pope on Thursday.

The Pope's General Audience was held via live streaming from the Vatican Library without the faithful in attendance.

"In these difficult days we are experiencing, I encourage you to entrust yourself to God's Mercy and the intercession of Saint John Paul II, on the eve of the 15th anniversary of his death," Francis said.

Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005 at the age of 84. He was one of the most influential leaders of the turn of the century, instrumental in the collapse of communism in Poland. The pontificate of John Paul II lasted 26 years 5 months and 16 days. It was the third longest pontificate in history, after Saint Peter and Pius IX. A Memorial Day for Pope John Paul II falls on October 22, the anniversary of the inauguration of his pontificate.