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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 March, 2005, 11:01 GMT
Cheers for surprise Pope blessing
Pope John Paul II speaks from Gemelli hospital on 13 March
The Pope spoke briefly from his hospital window on Sunday
Pope John Paul II has appeared at the window of his Vatican apartment to bless pilgrims in St Peter's square.

It is the pontiff's first public appearance since he left hospital on Sunday, more than two weeks after undergoing throat surgery.

During the brief appearance, he made the sign of the cross four times to cheers from the hundreds of people waiting in the square below.

The Pope, 84, usually holds a weekly general audience on a Wednesday.

He is expected to appear at Easter Week events later this month but a papal spokesman stressed he would be "continuing his convalescence" at the Vatican.

It is thought the tube that was put in his throat is still in place.

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