The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

The following is the Vatican information service's English translation of 
the official Italian translation of the text of Pope John Paul II's last 
will and testament, which was originally written in Polish, dated March 6, 
1979, with successive additions (The editor's notes are the AP's. The 
parentheses are in the pope's text, except for Vatican notations):

The testament of 6.3.1979 (Eds: March 6, 1979)

(and successive additions)

"Totus Tuus ego sum" (Eds: Latin for "I am completely in Your hands")

In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity. Amen.

"Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming" 
(cf. Matthew 24, 42)-- these words remind me of the last call, which will 
happen at the moment the Lord wishes. I desire to follow Him, and I desire 
that everything making up part of my earthly life should prepare me for 
this moment. I do not know when the moment will come, but like everything 
else, I place it too in the hands of the Mother of my Master: Totus Tuus. 
In the same maternal Hands I leave everything and everyone with whom my 
life and vocation have linked me. In these Hands I leave, above all, the 
Church, as well as my Nation and all humanity. I thank everyone. Of 
everyone I ask forgiveness. I also ask for prayer, that the Mercy of God 
may appear greater than my weakness and unworthiness.

During the spiritual exercises I reread the testament of the Holy Father 
Paul VI. That reading prompted me to write this testament.

I leave no property behind me of which it is necessary to dispose. As for 
the everyday objects that were of use to me, I ask they be distributed as 
seems appropriate. My personal notes are to be burned. I ask that this be 
attended to by Father Stanislaw (Eds: his personal secretary, Archbishop 
Stanislaw Dziwisz), whom I thank for his collaboration and help, so 
prolonged over the years and so understanding. As for all other thanks, I 
leave them in my heart before God Himself, because it is difficult to 
express them.

As for the funeral, I repeat the same dispositions as were given by the 
Holy Father Paul VI. (Here is a note in the margin: burial in the bare 
earth, not in a sarcophagus, 13.3.92) (Eds: March 13, 1992).

"Apud Dominum misericordia et copiosa apud Eum redemptio." (Eds: Latin for 
"With the Lord there is mercy, and with Him plentiful redemption.")

John Paul pp. II

Rome, 6.III.1979 (Eds: March 6, 1979)

After my death I ask for Masses and prayers.

5.III.1990 (Eds: March 5, 1990)

* * *

(Eds: Undated sheet of paper)

I express my profound trust that, despite all my weakness, the Lord will 
grant me all the grace necessary to face according to His will any task, 
trial or suffering that He will ask of His servant, in the course of his 
life. I also trust that He will never allow me-- through some attitude of 
mine: words, deeds or omissions-- to betray my obligations in this holy 
Petrine See.

24.II-1.III.1980 (Eds: Feb. 24-March 1, 1980)

Also during these spiritual exercises, I have reflected on the truth of 
the Priesthood of Christ in the perspective of that Transit that for each 
of us is the moment of our own death. For us the Resurrection of Christ is 
an eloquent (Vatican notation: added above, decisive) sign of departing 
from this world-- to be born in the next, in the future world.

I have read, then, the copy of my testament from last year, also written 
during the spiritual exercises-- I compared it with the testament of my 
great predecessor and Father, Paul VI, with that sublime witness to death 
of a Christian and a Pope-- and I have renewed within me an awareness of 
the questions to which the copy of 6.III.1979 (Eds: March 6, 1979) refers, 
prepared by me (in a somewhat provisional way).

Today I wish to add only this: that each of us must bear in mind the 
prospect of death. And must be ready to present himself before the Lord 
and Judge-- Who is at the same time Redeemer and Father. I too continually 
take this into consideration, entrusting that decisive moment to the 
Mother of Christ and of the Church - to the Mother of my hope.

The times in which we live are unutterably difficult and disturbed. The 
path of the Church has also become difficult and tense, a characteristic 
trial of these times-- both for the Faithful and for Pastors. In some 
Countries (as, for example, in those about which I read during the 
spiritual exercises), the Church is undergoing a period of such 
persecution as to be in no way lesser than that of early centuries, indeed 
it surpasses them in its degree of cruelty and hatred. "Sanguis martyrum

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