Last days of John Paul II were serene, says former secretary

.- The archbishop of Krakow and former personal secretary of Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, said Wednesday in Rome that the Polish pope was serene and alert during his last days.

Cardinal Dziwisz, who was at the Pope’s side during his final illness, said his last days “were not as tragic as the media claims they were” because the Pope “was aware that his time was drawing near and he was fully prepared for death.”

According to the cardinal, Pope John Paul II “was totally conscious, he heard the prayers of the multitudes gathered under his window and with this calmness and tranquility he helped those around him maintain or recover their spiritual peace.”

In an interview with the Italian radio network RAI, the cardinal also said that John Paul II “said goodbye one by one to his closest associates, such as the Secretary of State or Cardinal Ratzinger, who was dean of the College of Cardinals, but also to the ordinary people who cared for his living quarters…it was something very emotional and moving,” Cardinal Dziwisz said in conclusion.

Today is the anniversary of John Paul’s last public appearance. He greeted pilgrims from his study window on March 30th of 2005.

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