AGI – A very close bond, the one between the Gemini and the Popes. Non these are only the 11 hospitalizations of John Paul II, which marked its pontificate, but of a relationship that has made with time and in the same original intuition a real extension of the Vatican.
So that Wojtyla himself, who looked out from his windows for the Angelus when the conditions of the hospitalization allowed him, called it “Vatican number 3”. An effective definition that indicated his unhappy habit with those rooms, but also the fact that the Holy See has a particular relationship with this polyclinic located at the extreme edge of the Aurelio district of Rome.
“The first Vatican is St. Peter’s”, said John Paul II from the window of his room on October 13, 1996, “the second is Castelgandolfo, the third is now this polyclinic”. As can be seen, Gemelli had ousted the Lateran himself from the hierarchy of papal seats, where the Pope has his chair as bishop of Rome and where he resided for the centuries of the Middle Ages, up to at least the Avignonese captivity.
After all, the Gemelli was inaugurated by a Pope: John XXIII, November 5, 1961. The images show him that he speaks in Latin in praising the new faculty of medicine and surgery, hoping that “it will grow and flourish”. A young man stood out in the ranks of those present Emilio Colombo.
Paul VI went on a visit in 1976, on June 17, for the celebration of a mass in the square in front of the entrance. What he himself defined as “a citadel of studies and science” was becoming an imposing reality in Roman health and beyond. Two years after the official visit of John Paul II and, logically, it was a very theatrical crowd bath compared to the discreet and modest forms of Montini’s visit. He arriving in the roofless car blessing the cheering crowd. He would return, without considering the hospitalizations, on November 9, 2000, and would find him welcoming Camillo Ruini and, once again, Emilio Colombo. Finally Benedict XVI, to inaugurate the academic year. It was 2005: as soon as he became Pope he too went to visit Gemelli.