POPE John Paul II today was `fading serenely' towards death, the Vatican said.
The news was announced after a night in which the Pope suffered heart failure.
The statement came hours after the pontiff's health took a turn for the worse.
Thousands gathered in St Peter's Square to pray for the Pontiff.
And in Huddersfield, people attending Friday Mass at the town's Catholic churches said special prayers.
Father Ian Smith, priest at St Brigid's Church, Longwood, and Dean of Huddersfield, said it was a sad time.
"We shall all be remembering him in our prayers today. It is a very worrying time for a lot of people but he is serene and I am sure he is well prepared."
Prayers were also being said at a Mass at St Patrick's Church in Huddersfield.
It was confirmed the Pope received the sacrament for the sick and dying yesterday evening.