Pope John Paul II’s much awaited last will and testament has been made public, revealing he considered resigning a few years ago.
It has emerged the pontiff, who had long suffered from Parkinson’s disease, was tormented over whether to step down after leading the church into the new millennium.
The 15-page document also indicates that he had considered the possibility of being buried in his native Poland. In the will, he asks that his personal notes be burned.
The Pope thanks the church and other religions as well as politicians, artists and scientists for their support during his pontificate.
John Paul II passed away on Saturday and his funeral will be held in the Vatican on Friday.
Giant screens have been set up across Rome to broadcast the proceedings.
The government has ordered public offices to close and has banned cars, as presidents and pilgrims pour into Rome. Authorities say the packed city cannot cope with any more newcomers.
More than a million people are estimated to have filed past John Paul’s body as it lies in state in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Last night the queue was closed to further mourners, though scores of people broke through the barriers.
The funeral will be attended by political and religious leaders from all over the world, against the backdrop of a huge security operation.
The cardinals of the Catholic church will hold their conclave to choose a new pope on April 18.
It will take place behind closed doors and could last more than a week.