Pope John Paul II made a surprise appearance from a hospital window Sunday, waving to the faithful just after a top Vatican official on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica read a statement from the pontiff asking for prayers. The 84-year-old pope was wheeled to a hospital window and blessed the crowd by making the sign of the cross in clear gestures reports ABC news. John Paul, recovering from a throat operation to ease a breathing crisis, touched his throat during the minute-long appearance but seemed to be in ok form. John Paul's appearance surprised many of the roughly 200 people who had gathered under his window to pray for him and show their support. The pope's appearance came after he missed Sunday prayers for the first time in his 26-year papacy. He showed up in the window moments after the Vatican undersecretary of state, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, read a statement from John Paul asking for prayers.
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