Pope John Paul II's Will

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

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
semen christianorum" (Eds: Latin for "Blood of the martyrs  seeds of Christians").
And apart from this  many people die innocently even in this Country in which we
are living. 

Once again, I wish to entrust myself totally to the Lord's grace. He Himself will
decide when and how I must end my earthly life and pastoral ministry. In life and
in death, Totus Tuus in Mary Immaculate. Accepting that death, even now, I hope 
that Christ will give me the grace for the final passage, in other words (Vatican
notation: "my") Easter. I also hope that He makes (Vatican notation: "that
death") useful for this more important cause that I seek to serve: the salvation
of men and women, the safeguarding of the human family and, in that, of all nations
and all peoples (among them, I particularly address my earthly Homeland), and useful
for the people with whom He particularly entrusted me, for the question of the Church,
for the glory of God Himself. 

I do not wish to add anything to what I wrote a year ago  only to express this readiness
and, at the same time, this trust, to which the current spiritual exercises have
again disposed me. 

John Paul II 

Totus Tuus ego sum 5.III.1982 (Ed: March 5, 1982) 

In the course of this year's spiritual exercises I have read (a number of times)
the text of the testament of 6.III.1979 (Eds: March 6, 1979). Although I still consider
it provisional (not definitive), I leave it in the form in which it exists. I change
nothing (for now), and neither do I add anything, as concerns the dispositions contained

The attempt upon my life on 13.V.1981 (Eds: May 13, 1981) in some way confirmed 
the accuracy of the words written during the period of the spiritual exercises of
1980 (24.II-1.III) (Eds: Feb. 24-March 1). 

All the more deeply I now feel that I am totally in the Hands of God  and I remain
continually at the disposal of my Lord, entrusting myself to Him in His Immaculate
Mother (Totus Tuus) 

John Paul pp.II 

5.III.82 (March 5, 1982) 

In connection with the last sentence in my testament of 6.III.1979 (March 6, 1979)
("concerning the site / that is, the site of the funeral / let the College 
of Cardinals and Compatriots decide")  I will make it clear that I have in 
mind: the metropolitan of Krakow or the General Council of the Episcopate of Poland.
In the meantime I ask the College of Cardinals to satisfy, as far as possible, any
demands of the above-mentioned. 

2. 1.III.1985 (Eds: March 1, 1985) (during the spiritual exercises) 

Again  as regards the expression "College of Cardinals and Compatriots":
the "College of Cardinals" has no obligation to consult "Compatriots"
on this subject, however it can do so, if for some reason it feels it is right to
do so. 


Spiritual exercise of the Jubilee Year 2000 (12-18.III) (Eds: March 12-18). 

(Vatican notation: "for my testament") 

1. When, on Oct. 16, 1978, the conclave of cardinals chose John Paul II, the primate
of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski told me: "The duty of the new Pope will
be to introduce the Church into the Third Millennium." I don't know if I am
repeating this sentence exactly, but at least this was the sense of what I heard
at the time. This was said by the Man who entered history as the primate of the 
Millennium. A great primate. I was a witness to his mission, to his total entrustment.
To his battles. To his victory. "Victory, when it comes, will be a victory 
through Mary"  The primate of the Millennium used to repeat these words of 
his predecessor, Cardinal August Hlond. 

In this way I was prepared in some manner for the duty that presented itself to 
me on Oct. 16, 1978. As I write these words, the Jubilee Year 2000 is already a 
reality. The night of Dec. 24, 1999, the symbolic Door of the Great Jubilee in the
Basilica of St. Peter's was opened, then that of St. John Lateran, then St. Mary
Major  on New Year's, and on Jan. 19, the Door of the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls.
This last event, given its ecumenical character, has remained impressed in my memory
in a special way. 

2. As the Jubilee Year progressed, day by day the 20th century closes behind us 
and the 21st century opens. According to the plans of Divine Providence, I was allowed
to live in the difficult century that is retreating into the past, and now, in the
year in which my life reaches 80 years ("octogesima adveniens"), it is
time to ask oneself if it is not the time to repeat with the biblical Simeone 'nunc
dimittis' (Ed: Latin for "Now Master you may let your servant go.") 

On May 13, 1981, the day of the attack on the Pope during the general audience in
St. Peter's Square, Divine Providence saved me in a miraculous way from death. The
One Who is the Only Lord of life and death Himself prolonged my life, in a certain
way He gave it to me again. From that moment it belonged to Him even more. I hope
He will help me to recognize up to what point I must continue this service to which
I was called on Oct. 16, 1978. I ask him to call me back when He Himself wishes.
"In life and in death we belong to the Lord ... we are the Lord's." (cf.
Romans 14,8). I also hope that, as long as I am called to fulfill the Petrine service
in the Church, the Mercy of God will give me the necessary strength for this service.

3. As I do every year during spiritual exercises, I read my testament from 6-III-1979
(Eds: March 6, 1979). I continue to maintain the dispositions contained in this 
text. What then, and even during successive spiritual exercises, has been added 
constitutes a reflection of the difficult and tense general situation which marked
the '80s. From autumn of the year 1989, this situation changed. The last decade 
of the century was free of the previous tensions; that does not mean that it did
not bring with it new problems and difficulties. In a special way may Divine Providence
be praised for this, that the period of the so-called "cold war" ended
without violent nuclear conflict, the danger of which weighed on the world in the
preceding period. 

4. Being on the threshold of the third millennium "in medio Ecclesiae"
(Eds: Latin for `inside the Church") I wish once again to express gratitude
to the Holy Spirit for the great gift of Vatican Council II, to which, together 
with the entire Church  and above all the entire episcopacy  I feel indebted. I 
am convinced that for a long time to come the new generations will draw upon the
riches that this Council of the 20th century gave us. As a bishop who participated
in this conciliar event from the first to the last day, I wish to entrust this great
patrimony to all those who are and who will be called in the future to realize it.
For my part I thank the eternal Pastor Who allowed me to serve this very great cause
during the course of all the years of my pontificate. 

"In medio Ecclesiae" ... from the first years of my service as a bishop
  precisely thanks to the Council  I was able to experience the fraternal communion
of the Episcopacy. As a priest of the Archdiocese of Krakow, I experienced the fraternal
communion among priests  and the Council opened a new dimension to this experience.

5. How many people should I list! Probably the Lord God has called to Himself the
majority of them  as to those who are still on this side, may the words of this 
testament recall them, everyone and everywhere, wherever they are. 

During the more than 20 years that I am fulfilling the Petrine service "in 
medio Ecclesiae" I have experienced the benevolence and even more the fecund
collaboration of so many cardinals, archbishops and bishops, so many priests, so
many consecrated persons  brothers and sisters  and, lastly, so very, very many 
lay persons, within the Curia, in the vicariate of the diocese of Rome, as well 
as outside these milieux. 

How can I not embrace with grateful memory all the bishops of the world whom I have
met in "ad limina Apostolorum" (Eds: a reference to required, periodic
visits)! How can I not recall so many non-Catholic Christian brothers! And the rabbi
of Rome and so many representatives of non -Christian religions! And how many representatives
of the world of culture, science, politics, and of the means of social communication!

6. As the end of my life approaches I return with my memory to the beginning, to
my parents, to my brother, to the sister (I never knew because she died before my
birth), to the parish in Wadowice, where I was baptized, to that city I love, to
my peers, friends from elementary school, high school and the university, up to 
the time of the occupation when I was a worker, and then in the parish of Niegowic,
then St. Florian's in Krakow, to the pastoral ministry of academics, to the milieu
of ... to all milieux ... to Krakow and to Rome ... to the people who were entrusted
to me in a special way by the Lord. 

To all I want to say just one thing: "May God reward you." 

"In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum." (Eds: Latin for "In
your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.") 

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