On this day in 1979, Pope John Paul II became the first pope to visit Ireland, drawing huge crowds wherever he went. We put together a collection of photographs and videos from John Paul II's famed visit to Ireland 39 years ago and remember how his three-day trip brought the country to a standstill.

Nearly three million people turned out to welcome the pontiff at five venues: Dublin, Drogheda, Galway, Limerick and Knock.

The numbers were phenomenal when you consider that the population of the Republic was 3,368,217 in 1979.

In Dublin's Phoenix Park, more than 1 million people from all over Ireland and some cities in England attended the first papal mass in Ireland.

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There was a mammoth roar from the giant crowd when the pope's plane flew over the Phoenix Park en route to Dublin Airport.

On that day alone, the pope's itinerary included the Vatican, Rome Airport, Dublin Airport, the Phoenix Park, Killineer in Drogheda, Dublin and then several meetings.

His papal itinerary was so thronged that the pope jokingly claimed the Irish were trying to kill him on his first day.

It was in Drogheda, County Louth, where the Pope appealed to the paramilitaries to lay down their arms.

"I wish to speak to all men and women engaged in violence," he said.

"I appeal to you, in language of passionate pleading. On my knees I beg you, to turn away from the path of violence and to return to the ways of peace."

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That visit to Drogheda in the border county was as near to the North as the pope would get.

A planned mass in St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh had been canceled as his advisers feared he would be a target for loyalist paramilitaries.

Just weeks earlier, the British Queen's cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten, had been killed in an IRA bomb attack on his boat in County Sligo while 18 soldiers were killed in two explosions near Warrenpoint, County Down.

However, hundreds of thousands of Irish people North and South trekked to one of the five venues while many more watched the visit unfold on TV.

PHOTOS - Pope John Paul II visit to Ireland Sept. 29, 1979

Here are some TV highlights of his visit:

*Originally published in April 2014.

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