VATICAN CITY, FEB. 25, 2005 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II’s first written words after his tracheotomy surgery had a jovial quality — but he then quickly recalled his longtime Marian motto.
The Pope, back in his 10th-floor room in the Gemelli Polyclinic on Thursday night, signaled for writing paper and then wrote: “But what have they done to me?” reported Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls.
The Holy Father then added: “But I continue to be always ‘totus tuus'” — “all yours” — a reference to the motto of his pontificate and the entrustment of his life and ministry to the Virgin Mary.
John Paul II underwent a successful tracheotomy Thursday night to ease his breathing problems, after having been rushed to the hospital for congestion and fever linked to the flu.
The Pope has been advised by his doctors not to speak for several days, to favor a speedy recovery.
The Holy Father discovered the formula “totus tuus” when he was a worker in a Polish factory during World War II, under Nazi occupation, he revealed in his 1994 book, “Crossing the Threshold of Hope.”
On Jan. 13, 2004, he explained in an address that those words — taken from the “Treatise of True Devotion to the Most Holy Virgin” of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort — changed his life.
“I found the answer to my perplexities due to fear that devotion to Mary, if excessive, might end by compromising the supremacy of worship due to Christ,” he said.
“Under the wise guidance of St. Louis-Marie I understood that, if the mystery of Mary is lived in Christ, such a risk does not exist,” he clarified.
“Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt,” wrote St. Louis-Marie (1673-1716) — “I am all yours, and all that is mine is yours.”