07:16 27 June 2013
As Nelson Mandela’s health turned from stable to critical, an archbishop has wished the former president a “peaceful, perfect end.” Mandela’s close family members have gathered to hear a somber prayer as he lay in the hospital with his life seemingly slipping away.
South Africans are bracing themselves for the worst after 19-day vigil. The archbishop’s prayer seemed to echo Mandela’s family and the whole nation’s sentiments.
"May (we) be filled with gratitude for all the good that he has done for us and for our nation, and may (we) honour his legacy through our lives." the prayer read.
"Grant Madiba eternal healing and relief from pain and suffering”
"Grant him, we pray, a quiet night and a peaceful, perfect, end."
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma asked South Africans to respect Mandela’s family’s dignity and privacy during this very difficult time.
Mandela, who served a single term as president, is due to celebrate his 95th birthday on July 18. He was admitted four times in the hospital since December.
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