“Let me go to the house of the Father.”
These were Pope John Paul II’s last words, mumbled in polish with a weak voice, six hours before reaching the house of the father.
The Vatican already revealed many of the details in a meticulously written report, but the 220-page volume provides more description of John Paul II’s decline. It went on sale at the Vatican in recent days, the Holy See’s publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, said Saturday.
Six hours before his death, John Paul said in Polish, “with a very weak voice and with mumbled words, ‘Let me go to the house of the Father,”‘ the report said.
Following the second hospitalization, which included Feb. 24 throat surgery to insert a breathing tube, John Paul’s convalescence was hampered by “very difficult swallowing,” laborious attempts to utter words, “nutritional deficit and marked weakness,” the account says.
Through his moving attempt to give the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing the last Sunday of Easter, which triggered the applause of the faithful gathered on Saint Peter’s Square, John Paul II- who after his second hospitalization suffered a “nutritional deficit and weaknesses”- came back to appear at the window of his room Wednesday, March 30th to give the blessing. This appearance “was the last public station of his own Via Crucis”, says the document.
The account is particularly elaborate about John Paul’s turn for the worse on the morning of March 31 at his private chapel when he was “hit by a shaking chill, followed by a sharp rise in temperature” to 39.4 C (103 F). Then very grave septic shock set in, with cardio-circulatory collapse, due to a diagnosed infection of the urinary tract,” the account said.
The official account is quite close to one offered last month by John Paul’s longtime personal secretary, now Krakow Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz. He told an Italian TV interviewer that a nun who was near the pontiff heard him say: “Let me go to the Lord.”