When Pope John Paul II visited Britain in 1982 an eight-year-old disabled girl was carried by her mother to receive communion.

Now, 28 years later, the girl is to make history again by meeting Pope Benedict XVI during his visit later this week.

Rosemarie Stevenson, now 37 and from Glasgow, was lifted from her wheelchair and carried up stairs in front of a cheering crowd of 300,000 and a TV audience of millions at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow.

Rosemarie has now been invited by the Archdiocese of Glasgow to receive communion from Pope Benedict at the same venue on Thursday.

The Pope - Head of State of the Vatican City and Head of the Catholic Church - will arrive in the UK on Thursday when he will receive a State Welcome and an audience with the Queen - Head of State of the UK and the Head of the Church of England - at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital.

On the first day he will also visit Glasgow, Scotland's largest city which is riven with Catholic/Protestant rivalries, before flying down to London in the evening.

He will spend Friday and Saturday attending a number of functions throughout the English and UK capital, including a meeting with the Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on Saturday.

On Sunday morning he will then fly to Birmingham, the UK's second largest city, by helicopter. Amongst his duties there will be the canonisation of Cardinal John Newman. Cardinal Newman will be the first Englishman, other than one of the martyrs, to be beatified since the Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries. He will also be the first person, and so far the only one, to be beatified by the present Pope in person. Cardinal Newman, who lived from 1801 to 1890, was an Anglican priest from 1825 to 1847 before converting to Catholicism. He was created a cardinal in 1879.

The Pope will then fly out of the UK at Birmingham International Airport on Sunday evening. It will be the first visit by a Pope to the UK since 1982 and the first ever state visit by a Pope to the UK. John Paul II's visit in 1982 was a pastoral visit.

But Benedict XVI may have a tough time during his few days in Britain. Britain is the most anti-Catholic and anti-Pope country in Europe and the visit comes in the wake of the Catholic Church's child abuse scandal. Several groups protesting against his visit are preparing for marches in the areas he will be visiting.

Girl who delighted crowd meeting Pope John Paul II to meet Benedict XVI

A disabled girl who was carried by her mother to receive communion from Pope John Paul II during his visit to Britain 28 years ago is to make history again by meeting Pope Benedict XVI during his visit later this week.

By Alastair Jamieson
12 Sep 2010
The Telegraph

Rosemarie Stevenson met the Pope in 1982 (shown above right). She will be meeting the Pope again on Thursday during his rare visit to Britain Photo: Derek Blair/SCOTIMAGE.COM

She stole millions of hearts around the world when, as a girl, she was lifted from her wheelchair and carried by her mother to receive communion from Pope John Paul II during his visit to Britain in 1982.

Now, Rosemarie Stevenson is to make history again by meeting Pope Benedict XVI during his visit later this month.

Pope Benedict XVI is due to arrive on Thursday September 16 for a four-day visit that will see him attend events in London, Scotland and the West Midlands. Police have said that 'tens of thousands' of people will be on the streets and at events trying to catch a glimpse of the leader of 1.2 billion people worldwide, 17% of the world's population. Above, the official programme of the Papal visit to the UK

The 37-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, was eight when her mother Annette carried her up stairs in front of a cheering crowd of 300,000.

Millions of television viewers around the world also saw her take faltering steps towards Pope John Paul on the dais to receive her first communion.

She has now been invited by the Archdiocese of Glasgow to receive communion from Pope Benedict at the same venue, Bellahouston Park, on September 16.

The Pope will beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman during a special Mass in Cofton Park, Birmingham on Sunday, with only special pass-holders able to attend. Newman will be the first Englishman to be beatified since the Reformation.

The stage and security fence are erected at Cofton Park

Rosemarie, who went on to star in Peter Mullan's 1997 film Orphans, said she was "very excited" about the meeting.

"I was never bothered about the crowd, despite the noise," she said. "It was a real roar, like a rock concert.

"I've been asked about it all my life, even been recognised by people who saw it on television. It made a real difference to me, a big part of my life."

Stonemason, Neil Reid, works on a lectern that will be used by Pope Benedict XVI when he visits the UK this week, at Reid Carrara Ltd in Glasgow

In addition to her film role, Rosemarie, from Glasgow, has been an actress in a number of television programmes including a government advertising campaign to tackle attitudes to disabilities.

"I was pleased to be in Orphans, playing a disabled character. A lot of times disabled characters are played by ordinary actors so it was a nice thing to be able to do."

She spends much of her time at a local centre that provides classes and activities for the disabled, and still attends church when possible. She lives at home with her mother and her father, Robert.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien unveils the world's first Papal visit plaid, the St Ninian's Day Tartan

"I'm very excited about meeting Pope Benedict and looking forward to it immensely," she added.

A spokesman for Mario Conti, the Archbishop of Glasgow, said: "Rosemarie's heroic climb to receive communion from Pope John Paul all those years ago touched the hearts of a nation.

"It seemed appropriate that 28 years on, Rosemarie should have the chance to relive that dream."

Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus will sing for the Pope when he visits Scotland. She will perform before the start of the Papal Mass in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park, at which it is hoped Susan Boyle will also sing

Picture: PA

Katherine Milby from Abbotsford House inspects two ornate vestments. The two vestments, never seen in public, were gifts given to Mary Monica the daughter of Abbotsford's owners by Cardinal John Henry Newman after his visits in 1852 and 1872 and will become second-class holy relics after Newman's beautification by Pope Benedict during his visit to Britain

Although the authorities are expecting peaceful protests against the historic visit from campaign groups, they say they have no reason to believe mentally ill individuals or Islamist terrorists are planning to target the Pontiff. (Above) Therese Albrecht (R) and Barbara Blaine of the U.S.-based Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) pose with their pictures outside the Vatican Embassy in London

Preparations for Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the UK

Pictures of victims of sexual abuse are placed outside the Vatican Embassy in London by by U.S.-based group called Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)

Police want both the faithful and protesters to be able to get as close as possible to the Pontiff without compromising security. Here, placards, posters and hats are made by members of the Protest The Pope Campaign at The Humanist Society

A London bus displays an advert funded by the Catholic Women's Ordination, calling for Pope Benedict to ordain women. 'We're not allowed to discuss women's ordination now it's been turned into a serious crime to ordain a woman' said CWO spokeswoman Pat Brown

The cost of policing the Pope's visit has never been disclosed, but it is estimated to cost in the region of 1million to 1.5m. However, taxpayers are expected to pay 12m for the state events and the church up to 10m for the three open-air Masses

Official Papal visit merchandise

Official Papal visit merchandise

Pope visit UK 2010: dates and itinerary

The times, dates and places for the Papal visit, as Pope Benedict XVI comes to the UK from 16 - 19 September 2010, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Birmingham.

Published: 2:09PM BST 10 Sep 2010

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Britain on ThursdayPhoto: REUTERS

Thursday 16 September

Edinburgh 10:30
Arrival at Edinburgh International Airport

State Welcome and Audience with HM Queen Elizabeth II, Palace of Holyrood House
State Reception in the grounds of the Palace of Holyrood House
Address: HM The Queen
Address: The Holy Father
Private lunch with the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Archbishop's House

Glasgow 17:15
Pope Benedict XVI presides at the celebration of Mass, Bellahouston Park
Homily: The Holy Father
Departure from Glasgow Airport for London Heathrow

Arrival at London Heathrow Airport

Friday, 17 September

Private Celebration of Mass in the Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature
Celebration of Catholic Education, St Mary's University College, Twickenham
Prayer with Representatives of Religious Congregations in St Mary's Chapel
Greeting: The Holy Father
Gathering with Schoolchildren and Students, Sports Arena, including the inauguration of the John Paul II Institute for Sport
Address: The Holy Father
Meeting with Religious Leaders and People of Faith, Waldegrave Drawing Room, St Mary's University College, Twickenham.
Speech: The Holy Father
Fraternal Visit to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace
Speech: Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
Speech: The Holy Father
Address to Civil Society, Westminster Hall, Palace of Westminster
Speech: The Holy Father
Celebration of Evening Prayer, Westminster Abbey
Speech: The Holy Father
Speech: Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

Saturday, 18 September

Courtesy Call from the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Archbishop's House, Westminster London
Courtesy Call from the Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, Archbishop's House, Westminster
Courtesy Call from the Acting Leader of HM Opposition, the Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP, Archbishop's House, Westminster
Mass in the Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Westminster
Pope Benedict will greet 2,500 young people gathered in the Piazza to welcome him
Pope Benedict will greet the people of Wales
Greeting and Homily: The Holy Father
Visit to St Peter's Residence for Older People, Vauxhall
Speech: The Holy Father
Prayer Vigil on the Eve of the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, Hyde Park
Speech: The Holy Father
Sunday, 19 September
Farewell to the Apostolic Nunciature, Wimbledon
Departure by helicopter for Birmingham, Wimbledon Park

Birmingham 09:30
Arrival by helicopter in Birmingham
Celebration of Mass with the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, Cofton Park, Birmingham
Homily and Angelus: The Holy Father
Private Visit to the Oratory of St Philip Neri, Edgbaston, Birmingham
Lunch with the Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales and the Papal Entourage, Oscott College
Meeting with the Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales, Seminary Chapel, Oscott College
Speech: Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien
Speech: Archbishop Vincent Nichols
Speech: The Holy Father
Departure Ceremony, Birmingham International Airport
Speech: The Holy Father
Departure from Birmingham International Airport

Last edited by Blackleaf; Sep 12th, 2010 at 11:21 AM..