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VATICAN CITY, NOV 9 (ZENIT).- John Paul II has successfully completed his 89th international marathon, which on this occasion took him to the lands of India and Georgia. Yesterday, on his arrival in Georgia, he showed signs of exhaustion, but today, during the Mass he celebrated in the Sports Palace in Tiflis, he seemed to have regained his enthusiasm and energy. Vatican spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, said that after enduring 30 degrees centigrade (around 90 Fahrenheit) in New Delhi on Sunday, the Popegot chills from the bitter-cold Caucasus winds on his arrival in Tiflis,the capital of Georgia. However, this morning, the Holy Father kept to his 5:30 a.m. appointment for rising.

The Pontiff considered his trip to Georgia of great importance, and therefore was willing to subject himself to the punishing rhythm of travel. He believes it has been a unique opportunity for an eventual reconciliation with the Orthodox in Moscow. The trip from Rome to New Delhi was a seven-hour flight, and from Delhi to Tiflis, an additional five-and-a-half, with the accompanying implications in terms of weather and schedules. Without a doubt, John Paul II is indomitable. He never stops making plans, especially initiatives that will bring all Christians closer to union during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

According to professor Carrado Manni, the Pope's anesthetist for six operations, it is normal that the Pope shows signs of exhaustion, given the changes in temperature and schedule. "Like others, I have also noticed his tiredness, but it is difficult to control a character like the Pope's. Independently of the physical effort and his health, the Pope wants to carry out with determination what he believes is right and useful for the good of the Church," professor Manni explained.

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av Webmaster publisert 10.11.1999, sist endret 10.11.1999 - 20:58