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Dr Renato Buzzonetti – who was physician to four popes: Paul VI, John Paul II, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, died in Rome, at the age of 92.
Buzzonetti provided care to John Paul II throughout the whole pontificate – from election in 1978 to the last days of Holy Father. He was present at the St. Peter’s Square during the assassination attempt in 1981 and made the first examination of seriously wounded Pope. Several years after John Paul II’ death Buzzonetti talked about his extraordinary patient on the air of the Vatican Radio:
“Anyone who touched the body of the dying Pope, touched his wounds that indeed were really there, although nobody spoke about them – real wounds that were bleeding and causing pain. John Paul II was a good patient, he collaborated with the doctor and thoroughly described his ailments. He was very attentive in that, because he wanted to recover quickly and he wanted to help me decipher them. I learned from him to perform better the work of the doctor – that is to remember that every patient has the same privileges and rights as the Pope, in the sense that, to a doctor all patients, including the poorest and most forgotten, are my brothers and children of God. In a word, I realized that the doctor serves a man. In addition, I learned from John Paul II his great spirit of strong faith, which sustained him throughout his life. With this faith – really unshaken, he accepted and endured not only physical pain, but also difficulties of the ministry which involves the huge requirements and also dangers. ”
In July 2015, Rev. Dariusz Ras – then director of our Museum, visited Renato Buzzonetti in his apartment. The occasion for the meeting was to work on the production of a film entitled: “The Physician” which tells the story of a man who accompanied „Pope of suffering” throughout the whole pontificate, taking care every day about Pope’s health. The film about Dr. Buzzonetti will be the first part of film series “The people of John Paull II” produced by the Holy Father John Paul II Family Home Museum in Wadowice. The series is produced under the auspices of Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz.