ROME, Feb. 2 - Pope John Paul II's condition has stabilized after he was admitted to a hospital here Tuesday night because of difficulty breathing, the chief Vatican spokesman said today.
The pope has "just a little fever" and will spend a few more days in the hospital, but "there is no cause for alarm," the spokesman, Joaquín Navarro-Valls, said in a statement.
The spokesman added that as he was leaving the hospital at about 10:30 a.m. the pope's secretary and John Paul were co-celebrating Mass.
The pope, suffering from fever and influenza for several days, "slept for some hours" during the night, and his heart and lungs are performing "within normal limits," his chief spokesman said.
The pope was admitted to the Gemelli Polyclinic Hospital at 10:50 p.m., another spokesman said, with what a Vatican statement said included tracheitis, an inflammation of the windpipe, and spasms of the larynx, or voice box.
"He had problems breathing," said the spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini.
Catholic Online Saints
Feastday: February 3 Patron of Throat Illnesses
Many Catholics might remember Saint Blaise's feast day because of the Blessing of the Throats that took place on this day. Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said. Saint Blaise's protection of those with throat troubles apparently comes from a legend that a boy was brought to him who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The boy was about to die when Saint Blaise healed him.