The Pope’s Will: No Material Goods, Earlier Thoughts Of Retirement…And A Fire Request
The contents of Pope John Paul II’s will have been released – and there have been some surprises:
Pope John Paul II suggested in his last will and testament that he thought about resigning in 2000, when the Roman Catholic Church began its new millennium and he turned 80.
The testament also suggests that he considered a funeral in his native Poland, but left it up the College of Cardinals to decide. His funeral will be held Friday at the Vatican, with burial in St. Peter’s Basilica.
John Paul left no material goods in his last testament, released Thursday by the Vatican, and asked that all personal notes be burned.
The testament mentions only two living people: his personal secretary and the chief rabbi of Rome, who hosted the pope during his historic visit to Rome’s central synagogue in 1986.
John Paul wrote the testament over the course of his 26-year pontificate, starting in 1979, the year after he was elected. Writing in 2000, the pope suggested the time was one of apparent torment for him. He mentioned the 1981 attempt on his life, calling his survival a “miracle.”
And, indeed, if you read the medical reports, in a way it was. So what did he do with the extra time he was gifted? He seemingly used every single minute to impliment his vision of his mission on earth — right up until those agonizing photos of him appearing in the window at his apartment, extremely ill, unable to speak and clearly suffering. He used his time on earth as if every single second counted. Which it did…and does for all of us.