May 8, 2011. (Romereports.com).
Rita Megliorin is the head nurse who took care of Pope John Paul II the last two times he was at the Gemelli Polyclinic. She is one of the few to be so close to the pope during his last days of suffering. Rita Megliorin
Head Nurse, Policlinico Gemelli
“I attended to the pope in his last moments because I was the head nurse
of the resuscitation room and was therefore responsible for these
patients. It was an absolutely casual meeting and at first I wasn't
prepared for this type of task.” “Over time I realized there was something extraordinary in our
relationship, a full relationship that went far beyond a normal
relationship with a person. There was something in him that came from
the most momentous part of being human.
The nurse considered it a privilege. She says the pope never complained about anything, not even in his moments of great suffering.
Every morning she entered his room. The pope was already awake at 3 or 4 in the morning to pray.Rita Megliorin
Head Nurse, Policlinico Gemelli“I approached his bed and said 'Good morning, Your Holiness, it's a sunny day again' because every day of his illness there was a lot of sunshine.”
“I would kneel down and he then blessed me and stroked my face. And so would begin our day. I did my duty to be an inflexible nurse and he did his to be a demanding and inflexible patient.”
She says the pope always wanted to know his real condition and when he didn't understand a medical explanation, he would stop them and ask for clarification.
John Paul II would also ask about the other patients in the hospital and pray for them even during his most difficult moments.
Megliorin was one of the few people who was called to the Pope's apartment in his final hours to say goodbye to him.
Head Nurse, Policlinico Gemelli“At that moment I could see once again the greatness of John Paul II. He was conscious to the end and he didn't stop looking at the picture of the crucified Christ. His room was full of light and there was no dimension of space or time. And up until the end, through the window you could hear the songs of young people and the prayers of the faithful in the square. It was an unforgettable moment.”
She also got the chance to say goodbye to the pope in the same way they had greeted each day in the hospital with the sentence 'Good morning your holiness, it's a sunny day again'.
The pope looked at her with a caring face. It was the greatest gift he made in his last hours of life. He is remembered as a man who was never afraid of death, disease, or pain.