Feb 1, 2005: The Pope needs urgent hospital treatment after severe breathing problems due to flu but he is not in intensive care, the Vatican says. He returns home 10 days later.
Feb 24, 2005: He is rushed back to hospital after a relapse of earlier flu. Doctors performed a tracheotomy to ease his breathing, robbing him temporarily of his voice.
March 1, 2005: Pope starts speaking again.
March 13, 2005: Pope speaks directly to the Roman Catholic faithful for the first time since throat surgery. He returns to Vatican later that day.
March 24, 2005: A cardinal who stood in for the Pope at a Holy Thursday ceremony at the Vatican says the ailing Pontiff was "serenely abandoning" himself to God's will.
March 27, 2005: The ailing Pope appears at his window to bless the faithful on Easter Sunday but fails in his efforts to speak.
March 30, 2005: Vatican announces the Pope is being fed through a nasal tube in an effort to boost his strength and help his slow recovery from throat surgery.
March 31, 2005: Vatican says Pope is suffering from very high fever caused by a urinary infection, and receiving antibiotics.
April 2, 2005: Pope John Paul II dies aged 84 following heart failure.
17 September, 2005
Why did the Pope fear dying?
If Pope John Paul II was going to Heaven then why did he fear dying? If the Pope did not fear dying then why did he accept aggressive and invasive hospital treatment in his eighties? Surely you would only accept such treatment if you are desperate to cling to life. But then why would you cling to life if you're going to Heaven?