The following is a statement regarding the death of Pope John Paul II issued by the Vatican Saturday:

The Holy Father died at 0937 this evening in his private apartment. At 8 PM the celebration of mass of divine mercy Sunday began in the Holy Father's room. Presided by Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz. With the participation of Cardinal Marian Jaworski, of Arch Bishop Stanislaw Rylko and of Msr. Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki. During the course of the mass, Viaticum was administered to the Holy Father and once again, the sacrament of anointing of the sick.

The Holy Father's final hours were marked by the uninterrupted prayer of all those who were assisting him in his pious death, and by the choral participation in prayer of the thousands of faithful who, for many hours, had been gathered in St. Peter's Square.

Present at the moment of the death of John Paul II were his two personal secretaries Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz and Msr. Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki and Cardinal Marian Jaworski, and ArchBishop Stanislaw Rylko, and Father Tadeusz Stycven, the three nuns, hand maidens of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who assist in the Holy Father's apartment, guided by the Superior Sr. Tobiana Sobodka, and the Pope's personal physician, Dr. Renato Buzzonetti, with the two doctors on call, Dr. Alessandro Barelli and Dr. Chiro D'allo, and the two nurses on call.

Immediately afterwards, Cardinal Sec. of State Angelo Sodano arrived, as did the Camperlengo of Holy Roman Church, Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Secretariat of State and Archbishop Paolo Sardi, Vice Camperlengo of Holy Roman Church.

Thereafter, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Dean of the College of Cardinals, and Cardinal Joszef Tomko also arrived.

Tomorrow Divine Mercy Sunday, at 1030 AM, a mass for the repose of the soul of the Holy Father will be celebrated in St. Peter's Square. Presided over by Cardinal Angelo Sodano. At 12 noon, the Marian prayer of Easter time, Regina Coeli, will be recited.

The body of the late Pontiff is expected to be brought to the Vatican Basilica no earlier than Monday afternoon.

The first general congregation of Cardinals will be held at 1000 AM on Monday, April 4 in the Bologna Hall of the Apostolic Palace.