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Pope Sends Blessing to Ailing Prince Rainier of Monaco

Pope John Paul II has sent a special blessing to Monaco's Prince Rainier, who is hospitalized in grave condition.

Officials in the tiny independent principality say the pope sent a message of "heartfelt wishes" to the 81-year-old prince.

John Paul, still recovering from his own hospital stay earlier this month, wrote that he is united to the prince in his thoughts and prayers.

Prince Rainier, whose Grimaldi family has ruled Monaco since the 13th century, has occupied his throne since 1949. Hospital officials say his vital organs have begun to fail, and his breathing has been aided by a respirator since Friday.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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