Convalescence "Couldn't Be Going Better," Says a Doctor

Pope Receiving Visits — and Displays of Support

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 27, 2005 ( One of John Paul II’s doctors let slip a comment after the Pope appeared at his hospital window.

«It couldn’t be going better,» said Dr. Rodolfo Proietti, head of the Department of Anesthesiology of Sacred Heart University, who treated the Holy Father during his first hospitalization this month.

The doctor was immediately asked about precautions taken before John Paul II appeared at the window today, but, realizing his earlier indiscretion, he covered his mouth and added: «I’ll say no more.»

Vatican sources said that the Holy Father spent a good night after the tracheotomy, and is convalescing normally.

During the Angelus today, about 300 youths known as «Papa Boys,» an association that arose after World Youth Day 2000, met at the Gemelli Polyclinic after sending one another mobile phone messages, to support the Pope.

They were carrying a banner reading, «Holiness, don’t ever give up!» («Santità, non mollare mai!»).

On Saturday, Cardinal Julián Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, also paid a visit. After leaving the Gemelli’s 10th floor, he said that the Holy Father «is very well,» as «he feels continually accompanied by the Blessed Virgin.»

«He is giving a wonderful lesson to the world of love of the cross, as well as of serenity and joy,» added the cardinal, who did not see the Pope but said: «I know everything is going very well.»

Pierferdinando Casini, president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, was at the Gemelli on Saturday, and although there was no confirmation that he saw the Pope, he said: «There is an atmosphere of serenity. … And this reinforces everyone in the hope and expectation of the Pope’s timely return.»

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