I've heard several reports that the Pope has known all along the day that he would die. The fact that he asked not to be taken to the hospital is probably a sign that day approaches or is here. Yesterday in the novena of divine mercy said between Good Friday and Divine Mercy Sunday (declared by this pope) the intention was:
"Today bring to me those souls who especially glorify and venerate my mercy."
All along Pope John Paul has been the pope that has transcended his office. Like St. Francis, in our own day Mother Teresa, he has been venerated by people of all faiths. One of his staunchest defenders in this country is a Jewish woman I befriended several years ago. He has been an Apostle of God's mercy and his pontificate has been a time of grace, of preparation.
At the same time that the pope may be entering into his final hours the very public and international specticle of a woman not being shown mercy and armed guards keeping anyone from extending that mercy to her against the wishes of the President of the United States and the Congress of the United States in the United States makes one wonder if we have entered into a battle of an evil force that defies any rational explanation.
This pope has steered the barque of Peter between the pilars of devotion to Mary and the Eucharist...may we who now must go on in this culture of death hold on dearly to these gifts of our faith and trust in God's mercy to bring us to his kingdom.
Pray for the pope.