.- Despite new reports of failing health and the cancellation of his weekly general audience, Pope John Paul II made a brief appearance at the window of his study this morning to bless pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square below. Although today’s Wednesday Audience was called off, hundreds of faithful, including a large group from Poland, had gathered in the St Peter's Square prior to the Pope's 11 a.m. appearance hoping to catch a glimpse of the ailing Holy Father.
During the blessing, images of the Pope were relayed on giant screens located in the square.
Although the Vatican has made no official comment, there is widely spread speculation, especially in the Italian media, that the health of the 84-year old pontiff has taken a turn for the worse.
Catholics worldwide are joining together in prayer for the Pope.