INTRODUCTION: In Poland and in Italy, as well as many other countries around the world, special prayers were said on Sunday (17 May) for the continued recovery of Pope John Paul the Second.
SV & LV POLAND: People assembling outside church in Warsaw (2 shots)
SV Solidarity banner
LV & SV People at outdoor service at same church
GV PAN VATICAN: Crowds assembled in St. Peter's Square
SV & LV Cardinal conducting outdoor service in St. Peter's Square (2 shots)
CU ROME: Poster in Polish announcing service for Pope
SV Nuns enter church
SV PAN INTERIOR Nuns in church singing hymn, PAN TO portrait of Pope
CU PULL BACK TO LV Priest conducting service in Polish
GV EXT ROME: Gemelli clinic, where Pope is being treated
CU PAN Mother Teresa struggling through crowd of journalists outside Gemelli hospital
GV VATICAN: Dome of St. Peter's
SV & CU Nuns and others in St. Peter's Square listening to Pope's recorded message, PAN TO empty window where Pope usually stands, PULL BACK TO people listening in square (4 shots)
LV PAN Crowd applauds as Pope's message finishes with blessing
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In Poland and in Italy, as well as many other countries around the world, special prayers were said on Sunday (17 May) for the continued recovery of Pope John Paul the Second. The Pope, seriously wounded by a gunman last Wednesday (13 May), marked his 61st birthday on Monday (18 May) at the Gemelli hospital in Rome, where doctors said they were generally satisfied with his condition.
SYNOPSIS: A special Mass for the Polish-born Pope was said at all the Roman Catholic churches in the Warsaw archdiocese, attended by many members of the independent trade union Solidarity.
Prayers also were said for the dying Primate of Poland, Cardinal Wyszynski, who received the last sacrament on Saturday (16 May).
In St. Peter's Square, where the Pope was shot as he greeted the faithful, an outdoor service was held. Doctors said that this blood pressure, heartbeat and temperature remained satisfactory, and that his clinical condition was 'stationary overall'.
Later in the day, the hospital announced that the Pope had been transferred from the intensive care unit to a private room overlooking the Vatican.
Another Mass was held in Rome at the Polish church of St. Stanislaw, where members of the expatriate community from Poland -- among them a number of nuns -- came to pray for their Pope. Some Poles have travelled from Warsaw to the Vatican to be near him.
It was scene repeated throughout Rome as Catholics waited tensely for further bulletins on the state of the Pope's health. Doctors said they hoped the Pope would make a full recovery, and should be able to leave hospital in about a month.
At the Gemelli hospital, the Pope received a stream of distinguished visitors throughout the weekend. One of them was Mother Teresa, the Albanian-born nun who is celebrated for her work among the poor in Calcutta. She said she was praying constantly for the Pope's survival.
One sign of improving health was the recorded message broadcast by the Pope in St. Peter's Square on Sunday (17 May).
Three minutes long, the message was recorded by the Pope in his hospital room. In a fainter voice than usual, he told the crowd of several thousand that he sincerely pardoned his would-be assassin and was praying for him.
He also said he was 'particularly close' to the two persons wounded with him. The two other victims, both American women, are recovering after being shot.