Page 1, 12th March 1954

12th March 1954
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Page 1, 12th March 1954 — ILLNESS IS BUSY TIME
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People: Coronation
Locations: Rome

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ILLNESS IS BUSY TIME

FOR THE POPE

Coronation anniversary Mass today in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel

N the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican this (Friday) morn-ling, the 15th anniversary of the Holy Father's corona, tion is being marked by the celebration of Solemn Pontifical Mass in the presence of the Cardinals resident in Rome, members of the Papal Court and diplomats accredited to the Holy See.

T h a celebrant i s Cardinal Masella, the senior member of the Sacred College resident in Rome created by the present Pope.

Meanwhile, having conic through the second crisis in his illness, the Holy Father has gradually been regaining a little strength and has begun to take solid food.

There were no grounds for the extremely pessimistic reports circulating last week, Nor, however, is there justification for reports which speak of a rapid recovery. A thorough examination of the Pope's condition, particularly the cause of the gastric disturbance, has vet to be made.

Prayer and work

Lately His Holiness has been beginning the day by assisting at Mass and receiving Holy Communion.

Later. if allowed up by his phy siclan, he makes a short visit to the Blessed Sacrament in his private chapel and repeats this in the afternoon when possible.

Each day, too, he says his breviary and rosary and regularly makes his meditation.

The rest of his waking hours are devoted to matters submitted for his consideration and decision concerning the Universal Church. At intervals he remains for short periods in silent prayer and reflection. It is a full day, with no time left for recreation and pastimes. Every minute is put to use.

Earlier this week it was stated that His Holiness was spending up to four hours a day out of bed.

Abdication 'dream'

In the midst of the constant gossip and speculations in Rome it appears to have been suggested last week that the Holy Father might abdicate. When comment was invited from prelates at the Vatican, it is said, the suggestion was dismissed as "a madman's dream" and described as "repugnant."

The same possibility was mentioned during Pope Pius XI's long illness.

In both cases the abdication of Pope St. Celestine V was recalled in spite of the fact that the circumstances of, and the reason for, this Continued on page 8




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