POPE JOHN PAUL II (1920 — 2005)
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"Much like the air that we breathe, Pope John Paul II was a presence not always known or felt, but he was necessary to our everyday living. His unmatched goodness, his steadfastness and resolve in protecting the world's poor and infirm, and his ability to convey to humanity his views not only as pope but as a man who had seen much evil in his life, enabled him to become not only accepted, but tremendously respected and admired by people of all faiths. In the brief history of humanity there have been few men, or women for that matter, who have been the right person at the right time. Pope John Paul II was such a man. His legacy will be debated for years to come and eventually he may come to be known as John Paul the Great, or John Paul the Good." — Michael (San Francisco, CA)
"My wife and I had the greatest pleasure of meeting the pope in Rome in 1997. I am Catholic and my wife is not. We both held his hand as he blessed us. We will never forget that moment. After trying for several years to become pregnant, four weeks after meeting the pope we found out that we were having a baby and that my wife was one month pregnant. Was it a miracle? We don't know, but we believe in the sanctity of the pope." — Joseph (Albany, NY)
"The world has lost a great man, teacher and friend." — Marie
"Even in death, our beloved pope was teaching us and showing us the way. He was ready and at peace. When I prayed for him, I prayed that Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary would be at his side, letting him die peacefully in their arms. I know that is what the pope would have wanted. I believe that is what happened. Without a doubt, I know that he is now in heaven, at the feet of Jesus, still praying for all of us just like he did while he was on this earth. Holy Father, pray for us and for our Catholic Church as we await our new pope." — Eric & Shel
"I will greatly miss him. He is the quintessential pope. He acted as the spiritual father on earth of everyone, no matter what faith you label yourself with, which is what all Catholics have been taught. As we are now seeing, people of all faiths have responded to his fatherly love." — Ann
"I believe John Paul II deserves the application of ‘the Great’ that is already being attributed him. His meaning seems to me that faith is not what you make it to be, but rather what it requires of you to be. He has said that this is not about religion; it is greater than that." — Curtis (Highlands Ranch, CO)
"In 1979, I helped to guard the pope on his first trip to the United States. He made the sign of the cross when he saw me, and my life has never been the same. Although I am not Catholic, I have had great admiration and respect for him. I am saddened over his passing. May he rest in peace." — Loyd (Clemmons, NC)
“As a young Catholic, Pope John Paul II is the only pope I've ever known. His decline is very much like losing a beloved grandfather.” — Marlena (Steubenville, OH)
“I think the pope was a great man and he will be greatly missed. I saw him at World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado when I was 15, and my life was forever changed. He was a man that reached out to the young and brought a lot of us closer to the church with the things he said and did. I am appalled by some of the things that people are saying about the pope on the internet, and I know that everyone has there own opinions, but it is hard to deal with.” — Amanda
“The pope will be missed greatly. Its a very sad time for everyone. He was a piece of everyone’s heart and soul, no matter whom you are.” — K.
“I am praying along with the world for a great and holy man, the likes of which we may never see again. The beautiful services that have been televised have been quite inspirational. This is an historical time and we should appreciate it as such.” — Susan (Cedar Rapids, IA)
“Pope John Paul II was a pope that met the masses, and didn't hide behind the walls of the Vatican. Although I'm not Catholic, I have a lot of respect for the man that started the fall of communism in his native Poland. However, his role in this fall has been downplayed. He will be missed, and will leave a great legacy.” — Kirk
“The pope was a man of peace, moral courage, and brilliance. He was a tireless advocate of the God-given individual rights of man, and of the worth and dignity of human life. However, he was a staunch crusader against communism and secular humanism. He reminded us of God’s presence in our lives. I truly believe that he was one of the best leaders of the free world and of Christendom. The forces of evil must be breathing a sigh of relief today at his passing. It will be no small task for the cardinals to choose someone worthy of being his successor. May God guide their hearts and minds.” — Sal
“As a non-practicing Methodist married to a non-practicing Polish Catholic, I must say, this is giving me a reason to believe. I prayed tonight for the first time in 20 years. I feel like my grandfather just died. He was always there. I am sad, but feel empowered for the first time in my life.” — Marie
“I don’t care what walk of life the new pope comes from. I am praying for a pope as prayerful and as close to understanding God's will and teachings as Pope John Paul II.” — Margery (Jacksonville, FL)
“The world is a better place for having this brilliant and great man with us as our pope for 26 years! He made a impact on my life and I converted to the Catholic church because of him. I am sure Pope John Paul II and Terri Schiavo are walking into heaven together.” — Rebekah
"I helped to guard the Pope on his first trip to the United States...He made the sign of the cross when he saw me, and my life has never been the same. Although I am not Catholic, I have had great admiration and respect for him. I am saddened over his passing. May he rest in peace." — Loyd (Clemmons, NC)
"It is a blessing to so many to see and hear the truth about our church instead of the gray misconceptions that so many have...God bless you." — Colleen
"Thank you Pope John Paul II for your inspiration and guidance. May your spirit be alive and present during the conclave in electing your successor." — Doris (NY)
"I am an Episcopalian but have loved the pope every day of his papacy, and I will miss him. He was a great representative for the world of kindness and mercy, and I shared this love of the pope with my beloved mother who passed away last May. When Pope John went home to Paradise today, I couldn't help but think that he has gone now to look after my mother, who loved him so. God bless you Pope John." — Kathy
"The world has lost one of the greatest men of this generation. My heart is aching for US! I know he is in a better place, but as I heard someone say earlier today, 'I feel like an orphan now.' Looking at the legacy of his life makes me want to be a better person." — Diane (NY)
"Pope John Paul II was indeed the Catholic's Catholic. He was instrumental in my return to the Church, and in the return of many, many others as well...God bless you, Karol Wojtyla. You were a good man." — Karl
“If removing the tube was ‘an act of mercy’ for Terri Shciavo, why was the feeding tube put on the pope? He will have no quality of life even if the feeding tube keeps him alive. Where is the ‘act of mercy’ here?” — Marie
“On April 3rd is known as Mercy Sunday. Saint Faustina, who was a Polish Nun and a Polish Saint, was the one who brought this day to all of us. At her grave on June 7,1997 the pope said, ‘There is nothing that man needs more than Divine Mercy.’ It would not surprise me that God calls him home on this day to show the world about his mercy.” — Joseph
“Tomorrow is Mercy Sunday in the Catholic Church. It is a feast day close to the heart of John Paul ll. The pope was instrumental in bringing it to the Church calendar and promoting the canonization of the mystic nun that received this revelation from the Lord Jesus. I'm hoping he lives to die on Mercy Sunday that it may become his feast day, although he is already associated with it indelibly forever.” — Joann (Albuquerque, NM)
“He has been a voice of sanity and truth in a very troubled world. I thank God I am Catholic and only wish that the whole world would join us. I pray for his soul and grace for his successor.” — Rick (Toledo, OH)
“In 1979, when I was a senior in high school, John Paul II came to my town. It was October and cold and rainy. There was a huge, quiet pilgrimage of people walking down Highway 6, as no cars were allowed in the vicinity. We sat on a hill in the bitter cold overlooking where the pope would say mass from 6am until he arrived in the afternoon. In the afternoon when the helicopter arrived, the sun shown and people removed their coats, and the massive crowd was at peace. We listened to his message about peace and agriculture. When it was all over, thousands of people quietly made the long pilgrimage home. It was absolutely surreal. I still get shivers when I think about the experience, and that all those things were so present to me as a teenager. Now, on the site he said mass, there is a chapel at Living History Farms that is Ecumenical. Also, like a father, John Paul II is loving, but is absolute in right and wrong and he parents us to meet and follow that same path. God Bless John Paul II.” — Ellen (Charles City, IA)
“I don't think the Vatican is being honest with the public. How could a man that couldn't talk Wednesday say the sentence that he was supposed to have said today? I believe the pope was a great man but I do question the Catholic Church and their motives.” — Charlotte (Sayre, PA)
“All I can do is praise the man who walks through the valley of the shadow of death. He proved that the Pontiff is not only a holy man, but very much a regular man, stubborn, faithful, and righteous to the end.” — Bruce (Parkton, MD)
“I am not Catholic but I feel sad. Yet, I do know how the pope loves Jesus and I am sure his entry into Heaven will be awesome.” — Kathy (Cresaptown, MD)
“From changing continents to changing individual hearts and souls this man was a noble leader and true representative of our Lord. God bless you John Paul II. You will be missed.” — Rich (Prior Lake, MN)
“Pope John Paul II has truly taught us that God is loving, not vengeful. His incredible strength, intelligence, and dedication to the faith and people of the Catholic Church will long remain as an example for those who follow him as pope. What a sweet, kind, generous, and loving soul he has been. How very lucky we have been to have John Paul II as our Holy Father these many years. My family and I will miss him and cherish his work forever. God Bless him always.” — Lori-Marie (Springboro, OH)
“Dear Father, I wish we could share with you your joy of being welcomed into Heaven by all above, lifted by the prays from the ones below. I wish we could experience the beauty that you have always spoke about.” — W.C. (Trinidad)
"The pope has been one of a few larger-than-life figures in history. He has been so effective championing causes on so many more fronts than just religion. I am not Catholic, but I certainly see him as a hero to the world. May God truly bless him." — Michael (Mobile, AL)
"Pope John Paul II has said through death’s suffering salvation shall be yours. I believe the death of our Holy Father now is God’s propitious design after the unending suffering we have all watched for days, allowing Pope John Paul II to offer up his peaceful death as his final homily for healing and blessing to all the world." — Judith (Lakeport, CA)
"Thank the goodness of God that Terri and the pope can walk in the doors of heaven together." — DiAnn (Lake Sinclair, GA)
"So many of us Catholics are praying that he continues to live, but, truthfully, the pope seems to be accepting death now by refusing to go to the hospital and remain in his apartment. We too must accept his soon to be passing into the next world. On behalf of my family, I want to thank JPII for his incredible literary contributions, both philosophical and spiritual, that have helped so many people find Christ. His passing is sad and glorious because we know he will soon be with our heavenly father. His unfailing faith is a testament that God exists. Even until death, the pope remains peaceful knowing that life exists after death and it is a life with God, our Creator." — Rachel (Salt Lake City, UT)
"I feel the pope knew it was his time, that is why he wanted to stay at his apartment. He was such a wonderful man and I know he is in heaven enjoying the Lord as I hope to be one day. God bless." — Heidi (Blytheville, AR)“Pope John Paul II was a strong, clear voice of reason, truth and love in this very evil and turbulent time. He was our best example of righteousness. I am grateful for his willingness to speak the truth. Even in his own suffering he spoke the truth about Terri Schiavo. He will be missed. I pray we are given another courageous man of God in the next pope.” — Denise (Athens, GA)
“I think everyone that is Catholic will be saddened by his passing. Though he is doing a wonderful job in leading the Catholic Church, if it his time to pass on he will.“ — Mary Kate (Johnson City, TN)
“Pope John Paul II is the Blessed Mother Mary's Priest. I know that she is there comforting him and giving him the strength that he needs while he is suffering — just as she did for her son, Jesus Christ. I will surely miss my Holy Father.” — Diana (Gallup, NM)
“He will be truly missed. Even though I know He is going to be with God, his presence will be missed.” — Joanie (Queens, NY)
“For the past 30 years, The pope has been a representative of God...delivering never ending messages to all us of us from the Man upstairs. Now, the pope is a representative of the people. He will share with God all of our messages, all of our lives, all of our experiences. We all know how well he did his job when he was speaking on behalf of God. Just imagine what the future holds us now!” — L.
"While I will miss him, I also know he will always be with us and will be guiding our lives to walk with God. Bless you Father." — Mary (Dallas, TX)
“God bless him. I believe Pope John Paul II will escort Terri Schiavo through the pearly gates of heaven.” — V.S.
“With the greatest light from Earth he will enter into heaven and shine in our hearts. He has done so much for the Catholic Church, this country, the world and me. My prayers are with him.” — Peter (New York, NY)
“I hope and pray that he did not suffer. I know he is close to his Father. I know he living fully in the Grace of God now.” — Jim (Boston, MA)
“He showed us that even in his diminished state that life is precious. He reflected the goodness of God even as he endured his illness. He continues to now.” — Sarah (Mobile, AL)
“I celebrate his life and remember all the wonderful things he has done for the world.” — Kimmy (Seattle, WA)
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