Sunday, March 27, 2005
On this day:

Easter at the Vatican

Easter mass at the Vatican was celebrated without Pope John Paul II for the first time since he became pope.

...the ailing pontiff was unable to speak and managed only to greet the saddened crowd with a sign of the cross, bringing tears to many.

Aides had readied a microphone, and the pope tried to utter a few words from his studio window overlooking the square. But after making a few sounds, he just blessed the crowd with his hand and the microphone was taken away.