Pope's last will and testament hits Web

Official document dating from 1979 has been translated into English and posted on the Vatican Web site.

Richard Shim Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Richard Shim
writes about gadgets big and small.
Richard Shim
The official text of Pope John Paul II's last will and testament was posted online on Thursday.

The official Vatican Italian translation (PDF file) of the document was posted on the Vatican Web site. The original was written in Polish and included successive updates.

The document, which dates from 1979, begins with a phrase in Latin that translates to "I am completely in Your hands," according to a translation by the Associated Press. The former Karol Wojtyla of Poland became pope in 1978.

In the will, the pope thanks everyone and asks for their forgiveness and their prayers. He adds that his personal notes are to be burned, and ends with the words: "To all I want to say just one thing: 'May God reward you.'"

The document was updated several times in the 1980s, and the last entry was in 2000. It says the Pope has no property to dispose of, but merely some items of daily use.

The 84-year-old pontiff died Saturday. His health had declined over the past two months, and he was given last rites after suffering a heart attack several days prior to his death.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have descended upon Vatican City to pay their respects to the pope. The pope's funeral, scheduled for Friday, will also be shown online.