Well-Wishers Visit Gemelli From Around the World

Iran, Israel Send Greetings to John Paul II

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 4, 2005 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II, hospitalized in the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, received messages from the chief rabbi of Israel and the president of Iran.

Oded Ben-Hur, ambassador of Israel to the Holy See, visited the Gemelli today «on behalf of Shlomo Amar, chief rabbi of Israel, to bring a letter with good wishes for the Pope’s speedy recovery, as I cannot meet him personally,» he said to reporters.

The diplomat was received by Monsignor Tommaso Caputo, the Vatican’s head of protocol.

«I read him this letter that, in addition to expressing good wishes, is a prayer written in Hebrew,» said the ambassador.

«This letter unifies the thoughts of the Jewish people and the state of Israel for the Holy Father, who is suffering much these days,» he said.

Finally, Ben-Hur emphasized the importance of John Paul II’s pontificate in promoting «peace for humanity and interreligious dialogue.»

Mohammed Jhatami, president of Iran, also sent «all good wishes and the hope of a speedy recovery» to the Pope.

Archbishop Angelo Mottola, apostolic nuncio to Iran, told the Fides news agency that the press, civil authorities and the general population are following the developments of the Pope’s health.

President Jhatami «always fondly remembers his relationship with the Holy Father. At a recent meeting, when inquiring after my health, he requested that I wish the Pope and the whole Church good health and prosperity. The Pope is seen and esteemed as a great spiritual leader and defender of human rights,» said Archbishop Mottola.

The ambassador of the Ukraine to the Holy See, Grygorii Khoruzhyi, also visited the Gemelli today, expressing greetings on behalf of the new president, Viktor Yushenko.

Anna Unleva, president of the Ukrainian Association in Italy, took an icon from her country as a gift for John Paul II.

Yesterday, the Mexican and Colombian ambassadors to the Holy See visited the hospital and expressed greetings from their governments and people, the majority of whom are Catholics.

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