*** The Pope's last word was not "Amen", contrary to claims reported by the mass media throughout the world. Jews, Christians and Muslims say Amen at the end of their prayers, but few of them today understand why. The mainstream view is that it is a corruption of the Hebrew word "aman". But Moses was raised in ancient Egypt, and Amen (also called Ra or Amen-Ra) is the name of the highest ancient Egyptian deity -- God himself. Moses prayed to Amen and his successors have addressed their prayers to Him ever since. Jesus, who also grew up in Egypt, taught his disciples the Lord's Prayer which ends: "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen." ***
Pope's last words not Amen
Pope's 'last word was not Amen'
Mystery surrounded Pope John Paul II's final words today.
In one of the remarkable stories to have emerged about the death of the pontiff, he was alleged to summoned up enough strength to have whispered "Amen" just before he passed away.
But now doubts have been cast on the accuracy of the story by the Pope's personal physician, Dr Renato Buzzonetti, who has said his patient was so ill he was not capable of speech.
The doctor's version of events has added weight because it is the first account of John Paul's last words - or lack of them - from someone who was in the room at the moment of death. He told La Repubblica, one of Italy's most respected newspapers, the Pope "passed away slowly, with pain and suffering which he endured with great human dignity".
Dr Buzzonetti added: "The Holy Father could not utter a single word before passing away. Just as happened in the last days, he could not speak; he was forced to silence."
His account contradicts the version of events which made front page news all over the world - that the Pope was somehow able to speak as his life ebbed away.
According to two separate, but second-hand, accounts the Pope stared from his bed at the open window overlooking the crowds gathered in St Peter's Square and whispered "Amen".
The Vatican has not confirmed the accounts, nor given its own version. But it has not denied them either.
In one account, a Polish priest, Jarek Cielecki, claimed: "Once the faithful's prayer ended the Pope made a huge effort and pronounced the word 'Amen','' he said. "An instant later he died."
It is unclear how Mr Cielecki learned of the details as he had not been in the room at the time.
La Repubblica said it had learned that the Pope had "definitely lost consciousness" one hour and 40 minutes before he died.
This, the paper pointed out, conflicted with the official statement that a mass was celebrated for him at 6pm on Saturday, before he died at 7.37pm.
"How can a person be given the Eucharist when they have already lost consciousness?" it asked.
Evening Standard, "Pope's 'last word was not Amen' ", 6 April 2005.
Catholic Encyclopedia (Volume I) - Amen
"Finally, we may note that the word Amen occurs not infrequently in early Christian inscriptions, and that it was often introduced into anathemas and gnostic spells. Moreover, as the Greek letters which form Amen according to their numerical values total 99 (alpha=1, mu=40, epsilon=8, nu=50), this number often appears in inscriptions, especially of Egyptian origin, and a sort of magical efficacy seems to have been attributed to its symbol. It should also be mentioned that the word Amen is still employed in the ritual both of Jews and Mohammedans."
Tour Egypt - Amen and Amen-Ra, Egyptian Gods
The Ten Commandments (Moses The Movie)
"The Insider" mailing list article, 08 April 2005.
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