On this day: As-sal·mu ëal·ikum!

On this day, ten years ago, Blessed John Paul II became the first Pope to visit a mosque.

"Vatican and Syrian flags decorated the Omayyad Mosque in the old walled city at the heart of modern Damascus as the 80-year-old pontiff slipped off his shoes as tradition requires and entered the mosque.

"Leaning on a cane, he stumbled slightly at the threshold and while crossing the carpeted floor of the vast, white-columned hall glittering with chandeliers. He walked with Syria's top Muslim cleric, Sheik Ahmad Kuftaro, who is in his late 80s and also walked with a cane."

--"Pope Makes Historic Visit to Syrian Mosque", by Victor Simpson, beliefnet.

Although the planned Muslim-Christian prayer was canceled, Blessed John Paul II stood in silence at the shrine said to contain the head of Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist.

Click here to read Pope John Paul II's Address at the Omayyad Mosque of Damascus, May 6, 2001.

Click here for an ABC News video of the occasion.

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