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POPE’S GREETING IS 1ST SINCE APPENDECTOMY

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Pope John Paul II, convalescing after an appendectomy, made a brief public appearance Saturday, the day before he officially resumes his pastoral duties.

Saluting pilgrims from his window over St. Peter's Square, the pope recalled an earthquake that killed nearly 1,000 people in the Friuli region of northeastern Italy 20 years ago."The memory of the terrible event . . . invites us to thank the Lord for the happy reconstruction, made possible above all by the initiative and tenacity of the Friulian people," he said.

Many of the 10,000 pilgrims in the square came from dioceses in the region.

The 76-year-old pontiff had an appendectomy Oct. 8.