EWTN Catholic Q&A
Eucharist given to Pope John Paul II
Question from EILEEN ROGERS on 04-10-2005:

On one of the television networks(I believe CNN), the reporter mention that Pope John Paul II received a special Eucharist when he was near death. Do you know what he meant? I thought there is only One Eucharist, that is the body and blood of Christ. Thank you.

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 04-12-2005:

When the Eucharist is given to the dying it is called Viaticum - "that which is to go (with the person) along the way", so that we meet the Lord with the Lord, so to speak. But, except for the name, you are right Communion is Communion, the Body and Blood fo the Lord. The Law gives permission to give Viaticum (communion in the circumstance of dying) whenever a person is in danger of dying, even outside the ordinary course, which permits Communion only twice a day.