I continue to be amazed the more we find out about the manner of death of Pope John Paul II. Both in official statements and personal recollections, we learn of the amazing heart and holiness of the Pope.
The official statement said the Holy Father died after the celebration of the Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday. At the end of the recitation of the Rosary in the square outside, he said Amen and died.
It appears that this Pope who liked to break new ground continued to make new firsts even in death: The first announcement of his death was sent via email from his spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls to journalists.
The Holy Father dictated a message to the Catholic faithful: “I am happy and you should be happy too. Do not weep. Let us pray together with joy.” I’m sorry your Holiness, but just this once excuse me for being disobedient. While I am joyful for you, I am sorrowful for us.
The director of the Vatican TV station described the final moments: “The Holy Father died looking towards the window as he prayed, and that shows that in some way he was conscious,” Cielecki said. “A short while before dying, the Pope raised his right hand in a clear, although simply hinted at, gesture of blessing, as if he became aware of the crowd of faithful present in St Peter’s Square, who in those moments were following the reciting of the Rosary,” he added. “Just after the prayer ended, the Pope made a huge effort and pronounced the word ‘Amen’. A moment later, he died.”