IN SHORT

Pope gets heavy present

SLOVAK Christian youth have prepared a heavy present for the Pope, who is visiting the central European state between September 11 - 14: a ten-kilos-heavy handwritten New Testament in leather binding.

Slovak news agency SITA reported on September 9 that nearly 900 young Christians participated in the copying of the voluminous 500-page book between June 30 and August 30 this year.

According to Ondrej Šmidriak, secretary with the youth section at the Slovak Bishops Conference, the front cover of the book will include an inserted iconic picture of the Virgin Mary. Two young Christians will present the book to the Pope in central Slovakia's Banska Bystrica, where on September 12, he will serve an open air mass.

Šmidriak said: "The goal of this activity was to create opportunities for the young to meet together and think about God's word."

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