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June 7, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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June 7, 1963
 

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2--THE PROGRESS Friday, June 7, 1963 Offered Life, Death for Church, Council, Peace By JAMES C. O'NEILL and PATRICK RILEY VATICAN CITY, June 3re(Radio, N.C.) His Holi- ness Pope John XXIII consecrated his death for the causes to which he had dedicated his life--the Church, the ecumenical council and world peace. It was after he had received the ViaticumBHoly Communion of the dying (Friday, May 31)--that he received representatives of the College of Cardinals to bid them farewell. He told them: " As I leave, I wish to thank the College of Cardinals. I am as a victim on the altar for the Church, for the council and for peace. I bless the entire Sacred College." Early Friday night, the 81-year-old Pope lapsed into a coma. But he regained consciousness at 2:45 a.m. Saturday, less than seven hours later. He was able to sit up in bed, drink coffee, and converse with members of his family. But he was suffering from great abdominal pain. Later, he dozed. Then he alternated be- tween periods of consciousness and coma. "... Sweetly Toward the End" But at one point during the night, he told those at his bed- side: "I have been able to follow my death minute by minute, and now I am moving sweetly toward the end." And while the prayers for the dying were being said for him, Pope John uttered these words from St. Paul's letter to the Philippians: "I... desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ." The great Bishop of Rome had entered his agonizing crisis at about midnight of Thursday, May 30. The existence of the abnormal growth in his stomach and the accompanying massive internal bleeding had been revealed officially Monday, May 27. But the succeeding days saw the Pope appear to gain in strength. Before the new crisis of Thursday midnight, the Pope had spent an hour in conversation with Gustavo Cardinal Testa, Secre- tary of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church, and with Amleto Cardinal Cicognani, his Secretary of State and thus his closest collaborator. Before retiring, be blessed his immediate household. Then about midnight he was awakened by pain. Dr. Piero Mazzoni diagnosed the new development as a new and worse crisis. He remained at the Pope's bedside throughout the night. At 6:30 Friday morning, Mass was offered in the room ad- joining so that the Pontiff could hear it. He received Holy Com- munion as he had on preceding mornings. Then at 9:30 a.m. Dr. Pietro Valdoni, Rome surgeon who was also attending the Pope, concurred in Mazzoni's view that the Pope's condition was hopeless. Informed of his physicians' diag- nosis, Pope John immediately asked that he be brought the Viaticum. Receives Viaticum His old friend and confessor, Bishop Alfredo Cavagna, was summoned from a nearby room and remained closeted with the Pope for some time. He gave the Pope Holy Communion at 11:15 n.m. Then at the Pope's request, the sacrament of the anointing of the sick was administered to him by Bishop Pletro C. van Lterde, O.S.A., the Papal Sacristan. Pope John asked Bishop Cavagna to remain at his bedside, saying he wanted to say a few words. Then in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, he renewed his profession of faith and reiterated his offer to lay down his life "for the Church, for the council, and for peace." The Pontiff then spoke of his affection for those around him, |or the people of his diocese of Rome, and those of Bergamo, and of his loving thoughts for all the people of the world. The Pope made special reference to the Fathers of the ecumenical council. He said he was confident that the work which was begun last fall will be crowned by happy success. (L'Osservatore Ramona, the Vatican City daily, revealed on Monday that shortly after receiving the Viaticum Pope John spoke of the duty of all to pray for Christian unity. It said the Pope pointed to the crucifi on his bedroom wall and said: "In my nightly conversations I have always had before me that crucified Jesus with His arms open to welcome all. For this is the duty of the Catholic and Apostolic Church: to work ..... for the realization of the prayer of the Divine Master--ut unum : sint, ut unum sint (that all may be one, that all may be one)." ) , ..... Late Friday afternoon, Mass was offered in the adjoining room by Msgr. Loris Capovilla, the Pope's private secretary who had accompanied the then Angola Giuseppe Cardinal Ronealli from Venice to the October, 1958, conclave which chose the Patriarch of Venice the successor of Pope Plus XII. I:::': i Pope John followed Msgr. Capovilla's Mass with a Missal, and, it was reported, listened with "great attention and devotion." ! Brothers, Sister Present At 9 p.m. Friday, the Pope's three brothers, Alfredo, Zaverio and Giuseppe Roncalli, and his widowed sister, Assunta, were in the sickroom. Only the week before, one of the brothers had told i: newsmen that Pope John was "the healthiest of us all." Visitors to the bedside that evening also included Giovanni Cardinal Montini, Archbishop of Milan; Augustin Cardinal Boa, S. J., President of the ecumenical council's Secretariat for Pro- :::: mating Christian Unity; and Ukranian Rite Archbishop Josyf Slipyi of Lvov. The cardinals of Rome also moved quietly in and out of the dimly lighted papal bedroom. 'At 10:30 p.m., Friday, Vatican Radio announced that the Pope had entered his final agony. "The Pope is dying," it said. "All around the Holy Father is silence and prayer." The crowd of worried well-wishers who had begun gathering in St. Peter's Square had swelled to an estimated 100,000 people by mid-evening. At midnight the Pope's condition was reported to be slowly deteriorating: He was having difficulty breathing, and he was growing paler. At that hour Msgr. Capovilla again offered Mass in the room adioining the Pope's. Among the late callers was Giovanni Cardi- nal Urbani, the Pope's successor as Patriarch of Venice. At 1:15 a.m. Saturday a medical bulletin announced that "the Holy Father's condition has worsened . . . The Holy Father is in a coma and is slowly dying." Then at 2:45 a.m. Saturday, the vigil of Pentecost, Pope $ohn dramatically regained consciousness after almost seven hours of coma. He was able to recognize his family at his bed- side and to speak to his kinsmen individually in the Bergam- uque dialect. He embraced them and gave his blessing. He even sipped a cup of coffee which he was able to hold in his hands. At 3:30 a.m., Mass was offered by Msgr. Giovanni Battista Roncalli, the Pope's nephew from Bergnmo, who had been at his his side for several days. Thanks Physicians The Pope during this period voiced his thanks to his physi- cians, Drs. Mazzoni and Valdoni, and Dr. Antonio Gasbarrini his personal doctor, who had returned from his home in Bologna following the Thursday night crisis. At 4:30 a.m., Cardinal Cicognani was celebrating Mass in the Pope's chambers. Vatican Radio, which was broadcasting throughout the night, reported that the Pope often kissed a Cruci- fix with humble devotion, and that he uttered words from the Gospel of the funeral Mass, saying: ,'Jesus! Jesusl I am the resurrection and. the life." Dawn Saturday found more than 200 persons still maintain- ing a vigil in St. Peter's Square below the papal apartment. Young priests were reciting the Divine Office by the light of the lamps near the great obelisk in the center of the plaza. And on the far side of the apostolic palace, where the Pope's bedroom window overlooks the Via di Ports Angelica, a swarm of sparrows noisily scoured the air for their breakfast as the new sun burst through the dapples of gray and white clouds to bathe the bedroom window. Vatican Radio, which reported that the Pope suffered periods of intense pain during the night, said at 5:30 a.m. that there was no change. His brothers took turns at his bedside through the night, and Bishop Cavagna, his confessor remained throughout. It was learned later that shortly after seven o'clock that morning, the Pope asked that the members of his family come- closer to his bed. Then he told them: "l bless you all. Remember Papa? Remember Mama? I have always thought of them and am happy because shortly I shall see them again in paradise . . . Now pray--let us pray together for Papa and Mama." At 8:05 o'clock Saturday morning, it was reported that Pope John had again lapsed into a coma. A 9:30 a.m. bulletin said that his "robust constitution is still fighting the illness." Just before noon, the physicians revealed that Pope John's temperature had risen slightly, to 100.4 degrees. The medical bulletin said: "He appears to be sleeping lightly. His breathing is heavier:" While he was awake, it was reported, the Pope continued to repeat the Holy Name of Jesus. At 2:30 p.m., Vatican Radio reported that the Pontiff's con- his pain. Once he regained consciousness, he again offered his life to God for the Church, the ecumenical council and the wel- fare of the world. By 6:30 p.m. saturday it appeared that Pope John was be- ginning to slip back into the drowsiness of the earlier afternoon. Cardinal Ben on emerging from a visit said, "Humanly speaking we can no longer harbor any hope." A 7 p.m. announcement said the Pontiff's condition re- mained "stationary." But his temperature had risen to 101.3 degrees, and his faculties were generally weaker. Baron Prosper Poswick, the Belgian Ambassador, who is dean of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, visited the Pope in the early evening. At that time Vatican Radio in an English languag e broadcast again called for prayers for the Pope who it said was "showing us a magnificent way to die." According to a Spanish-language broadcast ever Vatican Radio at 9:45 p.m. Saturday, the Pontiff remained unconscious. His breathing was being aided by oxygen. "The general impres- sion is of a progressive worsening and that everything rests in the Hands of God." Cardinals were then being admitted to the sickroom to join members of the Roncalli family and of the papal household. Among those taking care of the Pope was Augustinian Brother Federico Bellotti, who had been assigned to papal duty for a fortnight. It was on the eve of Pentecost that Pope John greeted Eugene Cardinal Tisserant, Dean of the College of Cardinals, with words based on the 87th Psalm: "Incline Your ear to my ...... call for help, O God, for I am afflicted and miserable." A 10:30 p.m. bulletin reported a rise in temperature, but no other change. The atmosphere of the papal apartment was de- scribed as one of calm, serenity and quiet. With the dawn of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, the Pope was again conscious and lucid. i ::: Outlook "Unfavorable" At fi a.m. Sunday Vatican Radio in the first communique in seven and a half hours reported that the Pontiff's condition re- mained unchanged after a calm night. During his brief periods of wakefullness, Pope John sipped water and recited brief prayers. But the outlook was "positively unfavorable." Cardinal Cicognani offered the Mass of Pentecost at 0 a.m. in the Pope's bedroom, and Pope John was able to follow it attentively. But he was unable to receive Holy Communion. At the conclusion of the Mass the Pontiff "with fervor" re- cited the Magnificat, the great prayer which Mary recited when her cousin Elizabeth greeted her with the words, "Blessed art thou among women..." The Pope repeated ejaculatory prayers. Then he again imparted his blessing on the whole Church, the College of Cardinals, the bishops, the clergy, the sick, children and' all the faithful--especially to members of Christian labor organizations throughout the world. To his nephew, Msgr. Giambattista Roncalli, the Pope en- trusted again a special blessing for his home diocese of Bergamo and for all his relatiyes. Additional Masses were celebrated in the room in the course of Pentecost. Wanted To Near Introit Again At the end of one of them, the Pope asked that the Introit and Lesson be read again. The Pentecost Introit, based on the first chapter of the Book of Wisdom, begins, "The Spirit of the Lord fills the world . . ." The Lesson, from the Acts of the Apostles, tells of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the amazement of men of all nations at hearing them speak in their Blesses ,The Faithful own languages. p [" .... $' ,,  .  : ......  .... , dr : The p0pe, years earlier had remarked that many of the IN ACHARACTERISTIC POSE, Pope John is Seen ad- 6is ne'ibned hi is Lesson had come from what is today dressing a crowd outside the Queen of Peace Church in Turkey. the seaside resort of Osttia, 20 miles from Rome. The Pan- It was reported that on his sickbed he turned his mind and tiff was on one of his Lenten visits to parishes in the dio- affections toward the Turks and the other Eastern peoples he cese. He took the occasion to denounce "barbarity" in sports, had lived among as a papal diplomat--the Bulgarians and the (Religious News Service Photo) Greeks. And he told those at his bedside of having himself 'A Good Man' DRESSED in pontifical robes, his hands folded over a crucifix, Pope John XXIII lies in state in St. Peter's Ba- silica. Pope John, one of the most universally admired dition remained the same, and that he continued dozing while the illness his doctors called irreversible kept its tenacious grip. Lapsed Into Unconsciousness An official communique announced at 4:43 p.m. that the Pope had again lapsed into unconsciousness after a brief period of con- sciousness. The steady stream of cardinals and other officials of the Church's central administratwe staff continued. Another visi- tor was Bishop Giuseppe Piazzi of Bergamo. Archbishop Angelo Dell'Acqua, Substitute Secretary for Ordi- nary Affairs in the Vatican Secretariat of State--who with Arch- bishop Antonio Samara, the Secretary for Extraordinary Ec- clesiastical Affairs, was permanently on hand in the papal apart- taunts--said at five o'clock that the Pope had recognized Bishop Piazzi. Pope John asked the Bishop to convey a special blessing for his beloved sons of Bergamo, for the diocesan seminary, for the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart--which the Pope joined as an extern member--and also the Flamingo Ceresola Foundation in Bergamo. It was a scholarship from this founda- tion that put the young Angelo Roncalli through the Roman seminary. Archbishop Dell'Acqua said that the Pontiff regained con- sciousness twice during the afternoon. But his fever was rising. At 6:05 p.m., more cardinals visited the papal sickroom. An- other visitor was Bishop Andrea Sepelak, S.D.B., Apostolic Visi- tor for Ukranian Rite Catholics in Argentina. Two other nieces were then at their uncle's bedside---one of them a member of the missionary congregation of the Pious Mothers of Nigrizia, who had arrived here from her post in Asmara, Ethiopia. The Pope was then receiving rejections of morphine to reduce pontiffs in history, was the 260th successor of St. Peter. His death occurred June 3, 1963. -- (Religious News Service Photo.) celebrated the Mass of Pentecost in the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Istanbul. A 7:40 a.m. communique from the papal apartment reported that "the robust constitution of the Holy Father continues to re- sist tenaciously the advance of the disease which is consuming. him." His temperature was 101.3 and the pulse was good. All three physicians were then in constant attendance. Due to the Pope's illness, the ltahan government cancelled an immense parade scheduled for the 17th anniversary of the Italian Republic, which fell June 2. Crowds Grow Meanwhile, the crowds which had never completely vanished from St. Peter's Square swelled slowly on the warm holiday morning, even though rain soon beat down upon them. r Shortly before 10 a.m. It was announced that the Pope re- mained fully lucid. And for a few minutes later it was announced that he had again given his blessing to the Church and the world. But by Sunday noon, the rain-drenched faithful in the square learned that the Pontiff's temperature had gone well above 103. His pulse was varying between 130 and 135 beats a minute. Dr. Valdoni, at the Pope's bedside at 11:30, said his mental facilities were still "fairly good." Breathing with the aid at an oxygen mask, Pope John ap- peared to be praying from time to time, his hands stretched out at his sides with palms upward as if in a prayer of supplication and of selboblation. During his long moments of prayer, his gaze often rested on a large photograph of Pope St. Plus X which that Pope of his early priesthood had inscribed to him on another Pentecost 58 years earlier. The inscription reads: "To the beloved priest Angola Roncalli, invoking every good wish for him We willingly impart the apostolic blessing." Pope John's mind continued to be clear as the afternoo wore on. But he seemed, as Vatican Radio put it, "to live only with God, speaking with Him and of Him." Lights Were Low The lights were low in the sickroom. The Pope lay on the plain brass bed which had been Pope Plus XII's. He was usually kept in a half-sitting position to make his breathing easier. It seemed in those hours that John XXIII no longer recog- nized his associates as they came near his bedside. But Vatica Radio said later that about five o'clock Sunday afternoon Pope gave signs of following the Eastertime prayer, the Regina " Coeli, and the litany of the saints. Throughout the city every radio was turned to Vatican Radio to hear the bulletins on the Pope's condition, which were repeated without interruption in every maior language of the world. As night fell on the city on Pentecost Sunday an estimated 80,000 persons were in St. Peter's Square awaiting the end, which was then expected momentarily. Many of them were pro to pass the night there. It was now three days and the beginning of the third night of the vigil as the Pope's death was expected from minute to minute. In Final Agony Pope John was now considered to be in his final agony and the oxygen mask was removed from his face. Medical bulletins detailing the Pontiff's temperature, pulse and respiration were repeated almost hourly. At 7:45 p.m. Sunday a special bulletin over Vatican Radi i said: "The Holy Father's condition is very grave indeed an all are asked to pray for him." As the crisis deepened the Pope revived momentarily to pray the prayer of Christ at the Last Supper "that they all may be one." He was to repeat the prayer again during the night, show- ing a watching world that he was offering his severe pain Christian unity, which he, more than any other Pope since Reformation, had come closest to accomplishing. Pope John was clearly dedicating his last hours to an attempt to persuade the powers of heaven and earth that the first step toward Christian union would not be abandoned. "Almost Like a Church" Archbishop Antonio Samore, Secretary of the Sacred Con- gregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, stepped out of the scene for a moment and described it as "almost like church." Bishop Alfredo Cavagna, the Pope's confessor, knelt at the bedside. Behind him and around the room were Pope John's relatives and his closest collaborators--his Secretary of State, Amleto Cardinal Cicognani, and his faithful personal secretary, Msgr. Loris Capovilla, among them. At 8 p.m. Sunday the Pope's respiration collapsed and it was thought that he had expired. But his breathing revived, and his strong constitution pushed him on through the night. Now came the sound over Vatican Radio which those remembered the death watch of Pope Plus XII in 1958 recognized as a sign that death was expected within minutes: the sound of voices outside the dying Pope's room reciting the Rosary. At 10 p.m., Archbishop Dell'Acqua left the Pope's room and told reporters that "His Holiness has full use of his mind and is following the prayers being recited. He has renewed his bless- ings for the world. He is suffering greatly and is offering it with full consciousness of his pain." Midnight passed. It was now early in the morning of cost Monday, June 3. A Vatican Radio bulletin at 1 a.m. ported: "The Pope is sinking gradually and perceptibly. The weak flame of his life is slowly dying out." The communiques became less frequent in the early hours. Vatican Radio remained on the air with a program of organ music until its next bulletin, at 3 a.m.: "There is little change. There is little hope. One awaits only the accomplishment ol God's will." Held Crucifix At that same hour, Pope John suffered a severe seizure pain. A crucifix was placed in his hands, and, remaining scious until dawn, he never let it go. The first light of the fourth day was showing in the sky as churchmen and newsmen--with a promise from their colleagues that they would "phone as soon as anything happens"--threw themselves fully dressed and exhausted on their beds. At 5 a.m. the radio organ music stoped for a bulletin say- ing: "The Pope continues to live through his slow agony. For the fourth time, the dawn rises on the sufferings of Pope Joh XXIII supported by prayer. The Lord of mercy and the Re warder of the just will not fail to heed the sufferings and pray- ers which His faithful servant has raised to Him with such lofty intention both for the union of believers and for the salvation o| souls. He will hear also the prayers of the faithful raised this night before His throne." Monday morning Mass was celebrated in the study adjoining the Pope's sickroom by Msgr. Capevilla, by Cardinal Cieognani, by Bishop Cavagna, and by Msgr. Roncalli. Those present said that the Pope showed signs on more than one occasion that was joining in spiritually in the Masses and in the prayers recited continually at his bedside. Doctors Issue Bulletin A bulletin by Drs. Gasbarrini, Valdoni and Mazzoni was Is- sued at 8:20 a.m. Monday. The Pope was lapsing into uncon- sciousness frequently and his reaction to stimulants was poor, it said. His fever was high, and his pulse and respiration were bo- coming more rapid. In the course of Monday morning, Vatican officials met to_ consider the steps to be taken upon the death of the Pope. Am,,l them were Benedetto Cardinal Aloisi Masella, who as Cam etlm lengo of the Holy Roman Church would have the duty of sum- moning and directing the conclave and of administering the church pending the election of a new pope. Cardinal Aloisi Ma- sella, 83, is also Camerlengo, or Chamberlain, of the College o! Cardinals. At noon, Vatican Radio issued a bulletin stating that the Pope was unconscious, and that his fever had increased. At 2:30 p.m. Monday Vatican Radio said: "Prayers are now the only comfort that can be offered tl Holy Father. His strong constitution which has resisted the digW ease so tenaciously is now to be inexorably overpowered. The possibility of intervention on the part of the attending doctors is decreasing minute by minute." The Pope's blood pressure had by then dropped to a count of 95. At 7 o'clock that evening, Luigi Cardinal Traglia, the Pope's Pro-Vicar General, for Rome, offered Mass on the steps of St. Peter's basilica so that the throng of 80,000 gathered sorrowfully._ in the square could pray for the dying Bishop of Rome. The Pope died at 7:49 p.m. Rome time, (2:49 p.m. EDT) "qm Monday, June 3. His death was officially certified by Cardinal Aioisi Masella and was made public a minute later. With the Pontiff when death came were his three brothers and his sister. Moments before the announcement of his death, Vatican Radio announced that the Pope's brothers and sister had followed the Mass in the square below along with Cardinal Cicoguani and Bishop Cavagna. Mass Broadcast at The Mass itself was broadcast over Vatican Radio and c ried over Italian television. Three minutes later, at 7:53 p.m., Vatican Radio in a special hookup with the Italian network gave the solemn news: "With soul profoundly moved, we give you the following announcement: "The Supreme Pontiff, John XXIII, is dead. The Pope of goodness expired in a saintly way and serenely after receiving the sacraments of the Holy Roman Church." ' ?