Before the Cross | Pope John Paul II's witness inspires us to face challenges; his example shows there is meaning to suffering and aging

Before the Cross - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson's Column

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Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

Do you remember the final days of Pope John Paul II's life?

In February 2005, the Holy Father was taken to Rome's Gemelli hospital with inflammation and spasm of the larynx, the result of influenza. He was treated and released, but he had to be readmitted a few days later because he had difficulty breathing. A tracheotomy was performed, and his breathing improved, but he was very frustrated because now he could barely speak. He returned to the Vatican and for the next month received special medical care as his condition worsened.

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