VATICAN CITY Apr 1, 2005.
Pope John Paul II amazed all of the Cardinals and personal aides by sitting upright in his death-bed at 21:00 (9 pm GMT) and saying clearly in Latin and then again in Polish, "I'm Back!--I have returned."
THE END IS NEAR
Only one-hour before, the Pope's condition was seriously grave and it was expected that he would not see tomorrow's light of day.
CNN News was reporting, "The 84-year-old pontiff was taking part in the prayers of aides who had gathered at his bedside," spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said. "The Pope declined to be hospitalized. The Holy Father's wish to remain in his home was respected, where complete and efficient medical assistance was assured."
Italy's Apcom news agency, without citing sources, reported the Pope was unconscious. Vatican spokesmen were not available to comment on the report, and had denied an earlier report by the same agency that he had slipped into a coma following a heart attack."
No one, not even the closest aides to the Pope were prepared for what would happen next.
I was just about to deliver the Saint Viaticum," Cardinal Redd Scarlatto of Sicily said, referring to the rites administered to the ill when approaching death. "When he sat up, it scared the bejesus out of all of us gathered around his bed."
Those waiting in the courtyard of the Vatican, were treated to a rousing rendition of "Climb Every Mountain" and "My Favorite Things." The pontiff smiled and uttered in Latin, "I would have done 'Puttin on the Ritz' but I couldn't find my tap shoes."
An unidentified source at the Vatican expressed his joy, "This will be recorded as an official miracle, I am quite sure. I believe it is unique in the history of the Vatican."
Mr Vito Corleone and his five young children Michael, Santino, Connie, Fredo and Tom were struck silent by the events of the day. "I cannot believe it; I'm at a loss for words," said Mr. Corleone. Such was the general response of all of the faithful gathered in the courtyard.
Letters and cards are now flowing in from all corners of the Earth.
The Pontiff is now back in bed and is being closely monitored by his medical team.