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Since 1992 Pope John Paul II suffered from progressing Parkinson disease and from various illnesses common for elderly people. His attitude towards the disease has become an expression of his propounded views. He served his papal duties and his pastoral mission right to the end of his life, even though it required from him a lot of effort and dedication. During the last years of his life he showed to the world that suffering needs to be understood and accepted with pride, you cannot give up but you must fight according to the will of God.
“When I first visited this shrine in 1979, I asked you to pray for me, while I am alive and after my death. Today I thank you and all the pilgrims of Kalwaria for these prayers, for the spiritual support I continually receive. I continue to ask you: do not stop praying – once again I repeat it – as long as I am alive and after my death. As always, I will repay your kindness by recommending all of you to the merciful Christ and to his Mother”.
John Paul II, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, August 2002.
Pope John Paul II died in the evening on 2 April 2005 in Rome, in 27th year of his pontificate at the age of 85. His funeral took place on Friday, 8 April 2005.
Around 300 thousands people, the Presidents and the Prime Ministers from 150 countries, several kings, the representatives of various religions, including Muslim and Jewish clergy, came to attend the ceremony. Around 5 million people gathered in front of the screens which were set all over the Rome. John Paul II was buried in the basement of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican.
“Today, I thank you warmly today for this prayer. I always feel it at work and I ask you to continue to pray for me. I have so much need of your prayer. The Church has so much need of it. The entire world has need of it.”
John Paul II, Wadowice, 16.06. 1999