Pope John Paul has celebrated Easter with a silent blessing to pilgrims gathered below his window in St. Peter's Square.
At one point Sunday morning, he struggled unsuccessfully to speak into a microphone, but in the end simply made the sign of the cross to bless the crowd. It was the first time during his 26-year papacy that the 84-year-old pontiff did not speak his Easter blessing. A senior aide (Cardinal Angelo Sodano) celebrated the Easter Mass and read the pope's message. John Paul is still recovering from last month's urgent medical treatment to aid his breathing. He has not spoken in public since mid-March, but is undergoing speech and breathing therapy.