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Stone carving says Pope will live!

NEWS.com.au | Stone carving says Pope will live (26-02-2005): "Stone carving says Pope will live
By Sophie Hardach in Rome
February 26, 2005

A STONE carving in one of Rome's biggest cathedrals may know what millions of Catholics around the world have been fretting about for the past two days: Will Pope John Paul II survive his latest health crisis?
The carved marble monument to Pope Sylvester II, who ruled the Catholic church 1000 years ago, is said to moisten when the death of a pontiff is imminent.

Today, a priest touched the carving in Rome's Basilica of Saint John Lateran and confirmed it was dry - good news for the Pope, who underwent throat surgery yesterday after being rushed to hospital with breathing problems.

The pontiff is also battling Parkinson's disease and crippling arthritis.

In the sacristy of Saint John Lateran, the Pope's 'second cathedral' for his role as bishop of Rome, two elderly Italian nuns in grey habits said the monument's prophesying power was well documented.

'It sweats when the death of a Pope is approaching,' one of them said. They did not give their names.

'The stone cries. It's true, it has happened. There are people who have seen it,' the other nun added.

Both said they did not know anyone who had witnessed the phenomenon.

Peeping out from their empty confessionals under the gaze of gigantic white statues of saints, several priests said they had been unaware of the legend.

Father Edoardo was at first sceptical when told about the carving, framed by two yellow marble columns.

'The stone feels cold,' he said on touching the carving and columns. 'But dry.'

Breaking into a smile, he added: 'So the Pope will live.'"
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