Pope John Paul II has granted bonuses of 300,000 lire - about $375 - to the Vatican's 3,000, employes to mark his accession to the papacy. The pontiff also granted them an extra day off, which gave them five consecutive days of paid vacation.
Vatican offices were closed Nov. 1 (All Saints Day), Nov.2 (All Souls Day), and Nov. 4, (Feast of St. Charles Borromeno, name day for the former Cardinal Karol - Charles - Wijtyla, as well as on Sunday, Nov. 5.
The pontiff declared Friday, Nov. 3, a holiday as well, so that Vatican workers might enjoy a five-day period of rest after more than two months of overtime and extra work in the wake of two papal deaths and two conclaves,
The papal bonus to the employes went to everyone from janitors to cardinals. It amounted to a month's pay for the lowest paid workers and to about a third of the monthly wage of higher-paid employes.
Until the death of Pope Paul VI on Aug. 6, papal employes traditionally received a month's extra pay at the death of the pope and at the election of his successor.
Pope John Paul I - Cardinal Albino Luciani - who, like his successor, was the son of working class parents, granted only a $250-all-round bonus when he was elected, and there was no bonus on his death, 33 days later.
The funeral services for Popes Paul VI and John Paul I, the two papal conclaves and the bonuses were estimated to have cost the Vatican about $8.75 million.