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In the course of his three pilgrimages to Austria, the Holy Father visited eight of the nine federal states. During the first apostolic trip in 1983 the Pope participated in the Katholikentag (Catholic Days) of the Catholic Church in Austria. During the „Vespers of Europe” at Heldenplatz (Heroes’ Square), the Holy Father said: „What brought the European continent to unity in its variety was above all the spread of a single Christian faith”. The Pope also visited the church of St. Joseph in Kahlenberg and the Marian shrine of Mariazell.
The second apostolic visit in 1988 took place under the motto „Yes to Faith – Yes to Life”. John Paul II presided over Vespers in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna and visited the former German Nazi concentration camp KL Mauthausen in Upper Austria. During the last papal pilgrimage in 1998, the Holy Father celebrated Mass in the Salzburg Cathedral, in the Landhaus Park in Sankt Pölten and in Heldenplatz in Vienna.