[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April, 2005, 18:10 GMT 19:10 UK
Key excerpts: Pope's will
Pope John Paul II
The Pope asked that all his personal papers be burnt
The Vatican released Pope John Paul II's last will and testament on Thursday. The will was originally written in Polish, then translated into Italian by the Vatican. The following are key excerpts translated from the official Vatican text.

The document was written between 1979 and 2000. The extracts appear in the order in which they were written.


6 March 1979

Totus Tuus ego sum [Latin for "I am completely in your hands"]. In the Name of the Holiest Trinity. Amen.

"Keep watch, because you do not know which day when the Lord will come" (Matthew 4, 42). These words remind me of the final call, which will come the moment that the Lord will choose. I desire to follow Him and desire that all that is part of my earthly life shall prepare me for this moment. I do not know when it will come, but, like all else, this moment too I place into the hands of the Mother of My Master.

In the same maternal hands, I place all those with whom my life and vocation are bound. Into these hands I leave above all the Church, and also my nation and all humanity. I thank everyone. To everyone I ask forgiveness. I also ask prayers, so that the mercy of God will loom greater than my weakness and unworthiness.

I do not leave behind me any property which necessitates disposal. Regarding those items of daily use of which I made use, I ask that they be distributed as may appear opportune.

My personal notes are to be burned. I ask that Don Stanislaw oversees this, and thank him for the collaboration and help so prolonged over the years, and so comprehensive.

All other thanks, instead, I leave in my heart before God himself, because it is difficult to express them.

6 March 1979

Following my death I ask for Holy Masses and prayers.

24 February to 1 March 1980

The times in which we live are indescribably difficult and troubled. Difficult and tense has become the life of the Church as well, characteristic trial of these times - as much for the faithful, as much as for the pastors.

In some countries, the Church finds itself in a period of persecution that is not inferior to those of the first centuries; on the contrary, the degree of cruelty and hatred is greater still...

And beyond this, so many people disappear innocently, even in this country, in which we live...

I desire once more to entrust myself totally to the mercy of the Lord. He himself will decide when and how I must finish my earthly life and pastoral ministry...

Accepting this death already, I hope that Christ will give me grace for my final passage, which is [my] Easter.

I hope too that it shall be made useful also for this important cause in which I am trying to serve: the salvation of men, the safeguarding of the human family and of all the nations and the peoples (among these I refer in particular to my earthly country), useful for the persons who in a special way have entrusted to me for the questions of the Church, for the glory of God himself.

12-18 March 2000

As 2000, the year of the Jubilee, moves ahead, day-by-day we are closing behind us the 20th Century and opening the 21st Century. By the designs of providence, it fell upon me to live in a difficult century which is moving into the past.

On 13 May 1981, the day of the assassination attempt on the Pope during the general audience in St Peter's Square, divine providence saved me in a miraculous way from death.

He who is the only Lord of life and death prolonged this life and in a certain sense gave me the gift of a new one. From this moment it belongs even more to him. I hope He (God) helps me understand until what moment I have to continue in this service to which he called me on 16 October 1978...

May Divine Providence be praised that the so-called "Cold War" ended without violent nuclear conflict, the danger of which weighed so heavily on the world...

To everyone I want to say just one thing: "May God reward you!




RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific