Well-wishing letters in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German have been arriving daily for the Holy Father, hoping for a speedy recovery and prompt return to his ministry as Pope and Bishop of Rome.
The Vatican reported that from March 1st, to noon of March 3rd, over 20,000 e-mail messages have arrived for the Pope.
About 10,000 of those messages have been in English, 6,077 in Spanish, 2,012 in Portuguese, 1,134 in Italian, 850 in German and 800 in French. Numerous e-mails in the Pope's native Polish also arrive daily.
While the Vatican pointed out that these numbers are only for a two-day period, they represent just a portion of mail arriving for the Holy Father, including additional e-mails since March 3rd, as well as letters and faxes that arrive at the Secretariat of State and other offices of the Roman Curia.
The Vatican also posted the e-mail address for the Holy Father on the occasion of his 25th anniversary as Pontiff in October 2003.
The Vatican noted that letters arrive from doctors, heads of volunteer organizations, housewives and mothers, students, religious congregations, hospital employees, pastors and parishioners.
Most e-mails, however, seem to be from ordinary faithful throughout the world and a few, as seen from sample letters the Vatican released, are from people who had been away from their faith and now have returned.
The majority of the messages are relatively short, wishing the Pope well, telling him how much he is loved and admired as the leader of the Catholic Church, how his suffering is an example to all, or simply thanking him for all he has done and continues to do for the Church, especially in promoting the value of human life and human dignity.
A number however, are longer and recount personal experiences of ill health, physical and mental suffering or personal conversions.
Most assure the Pope of their "prayers and personal sacrifices," rosaries and daily Masses and hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.
One person wrote, "How much you encourage us as we struggle in out day-to-day life to be ever faithful to God." Another said that, "I pray that, as you suffer greatly, you will also feel the very powerful presence of God with you."
Another sample letter from Italy told John Paul II that, "You are our father on this earth. We need you! We need your witness as it gives strength to each one of us."
A Brazilian writer said he hopes that "in this Year of the Eucharist, ... the Eucharist will fortify your much troubled life", while a youth in Brazil told the Pope he hopes he gets better soon so that "you can be with us young people in Cologne (for World Youth Day) and can continue to lead the Holy Church for many more years."
Yet another e-mail, this time in French, said, "Beloved Holy Father, you lead the Church by your suffering: The Lord, through you, is giving a lesson to both the wise and the prudent of this world."