John Paul II Foundation

He went to the window with an olive branch, the crowds cheered, and he remained silent

We were thinking how to organize his life, what to do with audiences.  Private audiences were no longer held, but the life was still going on normally at the house.  In the mornings, we were taking the Holy Father on a wheelchair to the Chapel where he was celebrating the morning Mass while sitting down.  He was not able to stand by the altar, I remember.   We were placing him on a moveable throne.  He was celebrating Holy Mass, coming to refectory for meals.  He was coming back to normal life. He read and prayed a lot.

-Were masses silent?

– The Holy Father spoke in a whisper, but everybody could understand him.  In that respect, there was really a great improvement.   The voice came back, only he was not allowed to strain it.

 – After a week at home – Palm Sunday.  The Pope goes to the window…

– Doctors asked him not to go as this could have harmed him.  Again, he felt worse.  He had difficulties with eating, swallowing food.  He got thinner. And, he was not really able to talk at the same time.  Thus, when he went to the window with an olive branch, the crowds cheered, and he remained silent.  He only waved with this branch in the direction of the faithful and blessed them.  He was swallowing saliva and we were seeing that he was eager to say something, but he could not.  And then, he grabbed his head.  We were even gently trying to push him away from the window, so he will no longer suffer, but he protested.  He hit his hand against hand rest.  I do not know if he did that to protest our intervention or it was against his weakness, to which he could not resign himself.

With the consent of Archbishop Mokrzycki “He liked Tuesdays the most”

M Publisher, Kraków 2008