Pope 'lucid, concious and serene'

 Vatican spokesperson, Navarro Valls gave the following statement at 12.30 today. "The Pope is conscious. This morning he concelebrated Mass around 7.15. The Holy Father remembered that today is Friday, the day on which he has always prayed the Way of the Cross. He asked to have the 14 Stations of the Cross read to him and he followed the readings attentively" Dr Navarro Valls said he was present at the time and that he saw the Holy Father make the sign of the Cross at each Station as they were being read to him. "After the Via Crucis, the Pope asked to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. He also received several of his collaborators in his private room: Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Sodano, the Substitute Secretary of State, Archbishop Sandri, Cardinal Ruini and Cardinal Szoka, as well as the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Ratzinger. "The Pope's condition is stable but serious. He remains lucid, fully conscious and serene. Earlier he asked to have an extract from Sacred Scriptures read to him and he followed the reading carefully." Dr Navarro Valls was visibly moved as he read the health bulletin, saying this was an image of the Pope he was unused to seeing in 26 years of service to the Holy See." Source: VIS