VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II, the Polish pontiff who led the Roman Catholic Church for more than a quarter century and became history’s most-traveled pope, died Saturday night in his Vatican apartment. He was 84.
The announcement came from papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls and was distributed to journalists via e-mail.
“The Holy Father died this evening at 9:37 p.m. (2:37 p.m. EST) in his private apartment. All the procedures outlined in the apostolic Constitution `Universi Dominici Gregis’ that was written by John Paul II on Feb. 22, 1996, have been put in motion.”
A Mass was scheduled for St. Peter’s Square for Sunday morning.
The pope died after suffering heart and kidney failure following two hospitalizations in as many months. Just hours earlier, the Vatican said he was in “very serious” condition but had responded to members of the papal household.
Since his surprise election in 1978, John Paul traveled the world, inspiring a revolt against communism in his native Poland and across the Soviet bloc, but also preaching against consumerism, contraception and abortion.
John Paul was a robust 58 when the cardinals stunned the world and elected the cardinal from Krakow, the first non-Italian pope in 455 years.
In his later years, however, John Paul was the picture of frailty, weighed down by ailments that included Parkinson’s disease. Although he kept up his travels, he was no longer able to kiss the ground.
Though this is not news about Alicia Keys I felt it necessary to make people aware, if not known already, and if so can pay their respects to him. Even if you’re not Catholic we all know that he was a great man wanting the one thing we all strive for, PEACE.
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