The pope appears at the window of the Gemelli Hospital after the Angelus

Source: FSSPX News


Rome, Sunday, March 6: for the second time since his latest hospitalization ten days ago, John Paul II appeared at the window of his room at the Gemelli Hospital after the prayer of the Angelus. Without speaking, the pope waved to the crowds before blessing them with the sign of the cross.

As on the previous Sunday, the text of the pope’s allocution at the Angelus was read by the substitute of the Secretary of State, Mgr Leonardo Sandri, at noon, on the steps of St Peter’s basilica. He prayed the angelic salutation and gave the apostolic blessing to the faithful present in St Peter’s square. – This custom was started by Pius XII in 1954, and has been retained by all his successors.

"Today once again,” Mgr Sandri read, “I would like to renew my expressions of gratitude for all the tokens of affection I have received. I am thinking especially of the many cardinals, bishops, priests and groups of faithful, of the ambassadors and the ecumenical delegations who have come during the last few days to the Gemelli polyclinic". The pope then expressed his special gratitude for the proximity of the faithful of other religions, "particularly Jews and Muslims". He stressed that their coming to the hospital to pray for him, was for him "a sign of comfort for which I give thanks to God". Lastly, the Sovereign Pontiff recalled that as Easter was approaching, "we must also offer our suffering to God, for the good of mankind and for our own purification".

In St Peter’s square, a TV camera transmitted pictures of the Pope joining in the Angelus prayer from his room, together with cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Secretary of State, Mgr Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for the relations with foreign states and the medical team caring for the pope. His private photographer took a series of photos. John Paul II looked rather tired. At the end of the prayer, he waved at length to - and blessed the crowd gathered in front of the Gemelli polyclinic, where the white and yellow flag of the Holy See was flying.

For several days, the Sovereign Pontiff has been undergoing rehabilitation therapy for breathing and speaking. While convalescencing, he continues to govern the Church. At "Vatican III" – as he himself nicknamed the hospital of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart during his 10th stay there in 1996 – official visits take place everyday. On March 5, he received Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar of Rome and president of the Italian episcopal conference. "The news is good, the pope is doing well and is peaceful", declared the latter when he left. The Holy Father has also received thousands of messages of support. For the last few days, the Vatican website has enabled people to pass on "their thoughts" to the pope.