Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Seven Last Words

I know this will be emotional for many readers.... More from the Acta chronicling JP's last days:
According to the Vatican account, the pope uttered his final words at 3:30 p.m. "A little before 7 p.m., he went into a coma," it said.

"According to a Polish tradition, a small, lit candle illuminated the twilight of the room, where the pope was expiring," the account said.

Shortly after the pope died, the Vatican press office announced the time of death as 9:37 p.m.

The account is particularly elaborate about John Paul's turn for the worse on the morning of March 31 at his private chapel when he was "hit by a shaking chill, followed by a sharp rise in temperature" to about 103.

"Then very grave septic shock set in, with cardio-circulatory collapse, due to a diagnosed infection of the urinary tract," the account said.

"The explicit desire of the pope to stay in his apartment was respected," it said of the decision not to hospitalize the pope despite his deteriorating condition.

The Vatican account describes the pontiff as experiencing various levels of participation in what was going on around him.

John Paul's eyes were practically closed during a Mass celebrated at the foot of his bed in the late afternoon of March 31, the account said.

"But at the moment of the consecration, he weakly raised his right hand two times, that is, on the (raising up) of the bread and wine. He made a gesture indicating he was trying to strike his chest during the recitation" of the Lamb of God prayer, the Vatican said.


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