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Italian Man Killed by Giant Falling Crucifix Dedicated to Pope John Paul II

A woman take a picture of an illustration depicting Pope John Paul II (L), Pope Francis (C) and Pope John XXIII outside a shop in Rome April 23, 2014. Next Sunday, Pope Francis will canonize late Pope John Paul II, who reigned from 1978 to 2005, and Pope John XXIII, who was pontiff from 1958 to 1963 and called the Second Vatican Council, a landmark meeting that modernised the Church. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini (ITALY - Tags: RELIGION)
This Sunday Pope Francis (center) will name John Paul II (left) and John XXIII (right) saints in the first ever double canonizaion. A man who lived on a street named after John XXIII was killed Thursday when a giant crucifix dedicated to John Paul II collapsed in northern Italy.REUTERS

Just three days before Pope John Paul II is to be declared a saint, a giant crucifix dedicated to the late leader of the Catholic church collapsed and killed an Italian man, according to media reports.

On Thursday, Marco Gusmini, 21, was posing for a picture with a group of friends in the northern Italian village of Cevo in front of the 100-foot wooden cross with a 20-foot concrete statue of Jesus attached when it came crashing down, The Telegraph reported.

The 1,320 pound structure killed Gusmini instantly.

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The BBC said a group of children was reported to be present at the time of the accident.

Cevo mayor Silvio Citroni told ABC that future celebrations to mark the Polish pope’s elevation to sainthood in the village have been canceled.

"It is an inexplicable tragedy. A young life, so many hopes, destroyed this way. The boys ran in every direction when they heard the sound of the wood splintering. Unfortunately, that poor boy went the wrong way," the mayor said.

In an odd coincidence, Gusmini was reported to have lived on a street named for Italian-born Pope John XXIII, who is also set to be canonized on Sunday.

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