Pope John Paul II makes surprise appearance at window of his hospital room

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Pope John Paul II made a surprise appearance at the window of his 10th floor hospital suite at Gemelli Hospital in Rome and waved to onlookers, shortly after he missed the weekly Angelus blessing for the first time in his 26-year papacy. It was his first public appearance following his tracheotomy on Thursday.

Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute Secretary of State of the Vatican, performed the weekly Angelus blessing in the Pope's absence. He also read a message written by the Pope. "I ask you to continue to follow me with your prayers," it said.

The pope's appearance was broadcast worldwide on television and was shown on a giant screen in St. Peter's Square.