Pope John Paul II, in bed with flu, canceled his planned appearances today, stunning more than 1 million Poles standing in the rain waiting to see their beloved compatriot.
The pontiff, 79, developed a slight fever -- below 100 degrees -- Monday afternoon and was receiving "anti-influenza therapy," Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said.
Late today outside the archbishop's residence, where the pope spent the day in bed, Navarro-Valls said the fever was down. But it was not yet known whether the pope would be well enough to attend events planned for the rest of the trip.
"The pope is feeling better," he said.
A couple of hours later, the pontiff appeared at a window of the residence to greet the hundreds of people who had gathered there, hoping for a glimpse of their country's favorite son. The crowd cheered and sang a religious song, "Mary, Queen of Poland."
"I thank you for your presence here and for this concert," he said before blessing the crowd and wishing them a good night.
One woman in the front had tears in her eyes after he was gone.
"He's definitely very tired, definitely sick. There was no smile about him," said Sabina Pieczara, 35.
The pope has two busy days remaining in his two-week pilgrimage to Poland, and the Vatican said all events would go on as planned. But the pope's spokesman said he would not announce until Wednesday morning whether the pope would attend each one himself.
CAPTION: Choirboys stand around the altar in Gliwice, Poland. The pope planned to visit this city in his native country yesterday but cancelled his appearances due to a mild case of the flu. (Photo ran in an earlier edition)