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Answered 2008-09-10 00:28:08

It is not a prescribed ceremony for a pope to do so. John Paul II, who traveled constantly throughout his papacy when his health was good, began doing it as a personal expression: he would kiss the ground of the country in which he had come to visit upon his arrival there. This was to show respect and reverence to the nation and its peoples as well as express his gratitude to them for inviting or welcoming him into their land.

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