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Pope's impromptu blessing from hospital window

To the delight of hundreds of people gathered below, the Holy Father yesterday appeared at the window of his room at Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic today to give an impromptu blessing.

Catholic News Agency reports that the event happened just before midday loca time, following a Mass the Pope concelebrates each day. The Pope appeared wearing the purple chasuble used in the liturgical time of Lent.

As he has done on the last two Sundays, the Pope gave several blessings to those gathered in the area in front of the hospital, where he was received with cheers and songs.

Several hundred people, including school children who had come to sing beneath John Paul's 10th-floor suite at Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic hospital, cheered as his hand came into view, weeping and shouting: "The Pope! The Pope! He is blessing us!"

The particularly large crowd at the hospital was due to the fact that Wednesday is traditionally the day of the Pope's weekly general audience. Usually held at the Vatican, the audiences have been suspended pending John Paul's health conditions.

The Pope received an elective tracheotomy on 24 February to ease his breathing and hopes to be back in the Vatican in time for Holy Week.

Pope gives impromptu blessing from hospital window (Catholic News Agency 9/3/05)

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Pope hoping to be home for Easter (CathNews 4/3/05)
Cardinal urges pope to keep World Youth Day commitment (CathNews 4/3/05)
Pope celebrates Mass in hospital room (CathNews 2/3/05)
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Pell backs Pope resolve to carry on (CathNews 28/2/05)
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Pope tells media to promote truth, not trash (CathNews 22/2/05)
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Pope again encourages use of Internet for evangelisation (CathNews 18/2/04)
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Pope says truth in media serves cause of peace (CathNews 26/3/03)

Pope's Role as Uniter Eclipses Day-to-Day Tasks of the Job (Pew Forum/USA Today 9/3/05)
Pope appears at hospital window (ABC.AFP 9/3/05)
Cardinals, Conclaves and a New Pope (Arlington Catholic Herald 10/3/05)
New York Press Editor quits in wake of offensive Pope story (Catholic News Agency 9/3/05)
Believers must join forces to renew society, Pope tells Georgian Ambassador (Catholic News Agency 9/3/05)
Prayers for John Paul II show practical ecumenism, Russian prelate says (Catholic World News 8/3/05)
Pope makes surprise window appearance (Catholic World News 9/3/05)
Madagascar prays for Pope John Paul II (Fides 8/3/05)
In Pope's perseverance, a guide for the faithful (Knight Ridder/Fort Wayne News-Sentinel 9/3/05)
John Paul II: The lion in winter (Knight Ridder.Fort Wayne News-Sentinel 7/3/05)
Ailing Pope Getting Thousands of E-Mail (The Guardian/Associated Press 9/3/05)
Faithful enjoy third silent glimpse of John Paul II since his surgery (Associated Press/MSNBC 9/3/05)
The 52 funniest things about the upcoming death of the Pope (New York Press 9/3/05 - Warning: Extreme Poor Taste)
When sad day comes, eyes of world will be on papal selection as never before (Spirit Daily)
Pope gives blessing from his hospital window (Vatican Information Service 9/3/05)
Georgia: Creating balance between unity and diversity (Vatican Information Service 9/3/05)
Pope Scheduled to Impart Blessing on Easter (Zenit 8/3/05)
Archbishop of Granada: On Papal Suffering and God's Power (Zenit 8/3/05)

10 Mar 2005