A poster of Pope John Paul II lays next to candles in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican
Dylan Martinez  /  Reuters
A poster of Pope John Paul II is illuminated by candlelight Saturday in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
updated 4/19/2005 10:45:07 AM ET 2005-04-19T14:45:07

One of the most influential figures of the late 20th and early 21st century, Pope John Paul II’s leadership style made him one of the world’s most beloved figures. The impact of his tenure will be felt for years by the world's more than one billion Roman Catholics. Below, readers share their thoughts on the passing of the Pope. (We are no longer taking submissions on this topic. Thank you for the thousands of responses.)

An inexpressible loss
Not since the passing of Mother Teresa have I been overcome with such grief, as I am now with the demise of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. I am not given to any denomination within the Christian faith, my conviction herein arising from my view that Christ ought not be divided into denominations. The demise of the Holy Father is an inexpressible loss I feel deep inside. Not having had any personal encounter with him, I feel like I have known him all my life. This is an occasion where tears substitute the words my heart want so desperately to express but fails. He has left behind a legacy and example too gargantuan to emulate. May God anoint His servant, the future Pope to follow the prodding of the Holy Spirit, as I am convinced, Pope John Paul II did. The Angels rejoice now as one of their own returns!
--John Baptist, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Testament to a beautiful soul
While I am not a Catholic, I went to St. Patrick's church here in New York last Friday to light a candle in his honor. While there were more than a few points on which I could not agree with him, I nevertheless always have and always will admire him for his tireless efforts on behalf of humanity even at great cost to himself.  The fact that people from other faiths besides Christianity have been praying for him is a testament to the beauty of this man's soul.
—Gwyn Griffin, New York, N.Y.

His expressionless face
John Paul the Great lying in state is said to look serene, but such an expressionless face, stilled and closed in death, is far from the responsive features the world had come to know through his 26 busy years as pope.  He tried valiantly to follow Jesus closely all during a long lifetime, and all through the recent years of great suffering that ended with his final Amen - so reminiscent of "It is finished!" on Calvary.  In this Easter period I think it might not be inappropriate to recall the words spoken of Jesus, to realize that "he is not here; he is risen" to the fullness of a joyous life with God forever.  Such a holy life, such a continual example of his courageous acceptance of hardship, whole-hearted commitment to peace and justice, loving outreach to everyone, and so much more, is his legacy to us, something to which we can relate every day in our living. Recently I read that when his mother became pregnant, despite two very difficult previous pregnancies, with one ending in the pain of losing a baby daughter, her doctor advised an abortion.  If she had accepted his opinion, instead of trusting God as she did, there would have been no Karol Wojtyla, no Pope John Paul II either, and what a tremendous loss that would have been for our world!
—Sister Mary-Joanna Huegle, Villa Maria, Pa.

A simple prayer 
John Paul II: Respected as Pontiff, Honored as Head of State, Revered as Priest, Beloved as Father. You have been a light to the world--set the world ablaze. Help us to live by your example as the best that we might be -- with your help continue to kindle the fire of Christ's Love.
—Annette M. Gagne, North Providence, R.I.

A wonderful lesson
Today in reflecting on the death of Pope John Paul II  it dawned on me that in death he has taught me a very great and wonderful lesson -- how to die with true dignity and courage.  
Though I never met or even saw John Paul II in person during the past 26 years I came to love and adore him because his love and faith in God helped me in my journey of faith. In celebrating the life of John Paul II it is absolutely wonderful how many millions of lives he touched and what a truly good and decent man he was -- a man of God. The world is a better place because of John Paul II.  Now he is at home with the Lord. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you.  And God bless you
—Michael McCafferty, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Footprints in the worldwide sand
John Paul was a beacon of light. In the concept of time, he shone briefly, yet his light touched us all. His warmth reached into the darkest and most alien corners of the globe and the world responded to the love he so generously blessed them with. John Paul leaves his footprints in the worldwide sands of time, a remembrance that he passed this way. His final journey took him through the bleakest night of agonizing Gethsemane - only to bring him into the brightest light of Easter morning. You are loved, John Paul!
—Erina Goff, Troutdale, Ore.

Finally finding the Pope
I am deeply ashamed.  After recently hearing and reading all about this spiritual man who lived his life to the same standards that Jesus Christ had during His time here, why didn't I notice Karol Wojtyla before?  Consumed by life's distractions, I simply didn't pay attention. I admit this with much humility and regret as many of my brethren did see, hear and follow, and so have benefited from Pope John Paul II's words.  His kind heart, and extraordinary faith in God and humanity have set an example for many generations to come.  Too often we discover in death what we have missed in life.  Pope John Paul II, I pray that you and our Lord will forgive me.
—Andrea Lavoie, Quebec, Canada

Pope of the people
How sad it is to loose such a loving, forgiving, peaceful man! He could make people laugh, and show kindness to those who needed it the most. He promoted around the world. He respected all religions. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and admired the arts. He was a pope for the people! He could relate to anyone. I remember seeing him on TV visiting in all different countries, touching the lives of so many people. It left me in awe of him. He is now at peace in heaven watching us all.
—Heather, Shrewsbury, Pa.

An atheist's tribute to the good shepherd
I’m 60, a man who long ago stopped believing in God, the types of God fashioned by man, the type of God believed in by John Paul II. But, on this day of grief, April 3, 2005, I honor, in my own way the passing of this great man. Even an atheist must honor a man like John Paul II. This man, this pope, lived the ideals that he professed, the ideals of Christianity, and did so aggressively. No sitting in Rome for John Paul II. He traveled the world with relentlessness; he movingly kissed the soil of each new land arrived at. He reached out to the sick, the poor, the dispossessed. He lectured the rich and powerful. He was conservative in the finest sense of that word, even for me a liberal, for he loved sinners and forgave them even while setting, through his agenda, very strict standards. His conservatism never seemed ugly, punitive, unforgiving. What stunning leadership. He fought communism and I wonder if the full story of his leadership against that doctrine will ever be fully known? A son of Poland, perhaps her greatest, his life span had allowed him to see close up the evils of the 20th Century’s enslaving doctrines. He used that insight wisely and relentlessly. Across the globe, wherever he went, the faithful would gather to catch a glimpse of this man who spoke of a better world. And so, even non-believers like me mourn his passing. We join the ranks of those who will miss him. And we smile with appreciation knowing that stubborn and skeptical though we may be, John Paul viewed people like us with love, tolerance and above all faith. He,through the experience of his decades, knew that ultimately faith is so much stronger than doubt. He was and will remain the good shepherd.
—Peter Twomey, Marshfield, Mass.

Living the Christian life
I am so saddened by the death of our beloved Pope John Paul II.  He showed us how to live the Christian life in the midst of tremendous suffering and illness.  His great theological insights are among the best since the times of the early church Fathers.  He will be missed, but we can know that he is in heaven watching over us.
—Shirley Soellner, Milford, Ohio

Well done, good and faithful servant
Pope John Paul II was an example, a role model for me as he shared his faith with people of all races or creeds - whether they were communists, aethists, or others that I have read in these emails.  He was a man of peace, love and forgiveness just like Jesus.  I have tears not of sadness but of joy knowing that he has done a remarkable job here on earth.  Well done, good and faithful servant.  You will be missed.  Your compassionate smile will forever be with me. Thank you, Pope John Paul II, for being my Pope these past 26 years. Have fun in heaven and if you see my Dad, Angel Alonzo, cousin Carol and favorite Aunt Nettie, give them a hug and kiss for me. 
—Angela Shull, Morton, Ill.

Let it be
How joyful it is that the tragic loss of a great leader can bring the world together in peace...if only for a brief moment...let it be.
—Jerry Matthews, Unalaska, Ark.

Legacy of love
As a "Cradle Catholic" I sometimes took for granted the presence and influence that the Pope has on the world at large.  John Paul II was so much more than just the leader of the Roman Catholic faith.  He was a kind, tolerant and charismatic man among men who saw the inner beauty of every person he encountered.  He knew that regardless of race, creed or philosophy all people deserved love and respect. I believe he spent his entire papacy proving that through his loving example.   He was a holy man, however he was not afraid to be human.  His mission was to respect life and promote peace to the entire world.  His sense of humor and genuine caring nature made him an approachable figure that all people could relate to and admire despite possible differences of theology or politics.  I believe his passing will have more impact on the world than any of us can imagine.  However, far more important is his legacy of love which hopefully will influence the people of the world for a long time to come.
—Cathy Simpson, Gardnerville, Nev.

The prime mover
A critically needed and decisive man of history, unique in these times, who now ranks with the greatest of all time and places, he was the prime mover who was able to sucessfully begin the ball of freedom rolling in the Communist bloc with a little help from his friends (Reagan and Bush) and he never forgot from whence he came, his faithful origins, his humble beginnings, and the ultimate humanity of the human condition we shared.  May he rest in eternal memory; history shall never forget him.  We were blessed to have him here and for the world to share him with us for the past quarter century to enlighten us all.
—Jeffrey R. Portko, Esq., Washington, D.C.

Peace and joy for this great man
Pope John Paul II is the embodiement of my favorite quote by Native American White Elk "When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced... live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice."  I am so at peace and joyful for this great man who am certain will one day become one of our saints. He watches over all of us in heaven now.  He is home.
—Anita Schwartz

His spirit uplifts us all
Pope John Paul II was an inspiration and sign of hope sent from God into a spiritually needy world. As a non-Catholic cleric, I felt close to his example of pastoral care whenever I saw him on TV, or read his teachings. God has gathered him back to Him, and we are all better people because he touched us in so many ways. His spirit will continue to uplift us in our own journey through life.
—The Rev. James T. Akers, Anglican Priest, Madison, Kan.

Back where I belong
Having been raised a Catholic and left the church for the past 54 years, Pope John Paul II, by his example has brought me back home to the church. Watching a man live what so many only talk about is the true reality of the Christian life. I was disillusioned by my own creation of flimsy excuses for not attending church and not living the life that Pope John Paul II lived. Thanks Pope John for my return to where I belong. May you rest in peace, and may I live by your example.
—Tom Burke, Dewey, Ariz.

Back in the faith
Pope John Paul II visited the Philippines twice but I never saw him because I lost faith then. Last December, I made myself a promise, to go to Vatican and see him on Christmas Eve. Before the Mass started inside the Basilica, he passed by and looked at me as if telling me finally you're here. I knew right there that I was back in the faith. Today, as I cry over the news of his death, I am not sad. I am happy that he is in God's hand now. Thank you, Karol!
—Evans Yonson, Madrid, Spain

Kindness and Love
Even as a non-Catholic, every time I saw televised footage involving Pope John Paul II I would stop what I was doing and listen. The man invoked a certain awe in me. His words, his presence....he carried about him an air of greatness like I have seldom acknowledged in any man. The world has lost a great deal with his passing but his teachings of kindness and love to all mankind will carry on in our world. Thank you God for sharing one of your true Angels here on earth.   
—David Steiner, Ely, Nev.

I cannot fully put into words all that I owe to Pope John Paul II.  He rescued a wandering teenager from many destructive paths by his visit to America in 1987; gave an example of love, kindness, and unity to an inquisitive college student; he provided an example of dialogue to a young teacher; showed a father's love to one who has recently become a father; and showed a 30 something how to die with grace and dignity when the time comes.  I am all of those people he touched - and I know countless others like me who feel the same way.  I miss you Papa!
—Jude Huntz, Kansas City, Mo.

Greatness beyond the Catholic Church
I remember Pope Paul VI well and I remember how the world reacted when he died.  After his death, the new pope was a gentle person who became known as Pope John Paul I.  He lived such a short time as pope that there are probably few who remember him.  I am not Catholic but I do remember wondering if the new pope could possibly be as gentle & kind as John Paul was.  The new pope chose to become known as John Paul II & I knew this man was truly destined for greatness beyond the Catholic church.  The world has lost a leader who did not think his way was the only right way.  He is going to be missed as sorely as Mother Theresa has been.  May he rest in peace, he has surely earned it.
—Susan Wilson, Abilene, Texas

Ambassador from Krakow - and Heaven
My wife was born and grew up in Krakow, Poland. The pope was a very popular figure as both a pastor and cardinal in Poland. Many Polish people see him as not only Pope, but as a symbol of strength and prayer for all of the world to see. John Paul II was the symbol of everything that Poland stands for. In as much as Poland has been invaded some 17 different times throughout history, the Polish people never lost hope, never gave up, and never compromised their values. John Paul II's spirit as a Pole carried through in his mission as Pope. He never turned his head away from injustice,or moral dilemmas. He met these with the firm resolve inherent in the Polish people. With every breath, even to the last breath, John Paul II lived the gospel he preached, and served as an example of how to live for every person, no matter what their religious affiliation. John Paul II changed the world forever, in much the same way as Jesus did. He was truly an ambassador from Heaven.
—Anonymous, Milwaukee, Wis.

John Paul - You brought me back
How do I start....I thought I lost my faith, I am one of the children that was abused by a priest as a boy. I though I had lost all faith until I found myself defending both the Pope and the Catholic Church today after John Paul death. I am crying now as I write this blog. I really did not realize how much I missed going to Mass and what the Pope meant to me. I do not blame the Church for what happen to me as a boy. Thank you John Paul your death has brought me back to the Church.. I will be at Mass Sunday with my son whom has never set foot in a Church with his father. God bless and keep you...
—JC Jackson JR, Gautier, Mich.

A man of faith
Pope John Paul II crossed religious, geographical, and cultural boundaries.  I'm a Presbyterian, but tonight we all pause and remember the life and faith of this wonderful man.   Not everyone agreed with him on issues... but all can agree this was truly a man of great faith.
—Priscilla, Wilmington, Del.

A good shepherd
I remember that I was 11 years old when the elected Pope John Paul.  I waited for the white smoke with anticipation like a child waits for Santa.  I have now experienced the death of 3 popes in my life but none touched me like Pope John Paul II.  I turned away from the Church for a while but like the good shepherd he was, he spoke and I listened to his words.  Even without know it, he touched me.  I have grown closer in the last 7 years to my faith.  I will truly miss his strength and wisdom.  
—Catherine Joyce, Germantown, Tenn.

He blessed Indonesia
When Pope John Paul II kissed the Indonesian land at the first chance he landed on Indonesia in 1988 I was a child but I could felt the heavenly joy in my soul and felt as if my poor country blessed. He is the man with power that can shower every place he visited with tremendous peace. The world lost her guardian angel. I will miss Pope John Paul II, his eyes, his fatherly smile and the way he bend down and kiss the land. Be happy with God in heaven our beloved Pope.
—Debbin Malau, Jakarta, Indonesia

A loved man
Being a born again Christian I do not understand all of the Roman Catholic church doctrine. I do, however, believe that Pope John Paul II was a Godly man and he was loved by many. He worked to bring understanding to other religions and to spread peace throughout the world.
—Cyndi Woods, Moreno Valley, Calif.

God's gift to us
Occasionally God grants us the gift of a person, who brings his message to the people in such a way, that all are moved by it and perhaps some will even act on it. John Paul II was God's gift to us in this past century. We may not see the likes of him for a long time to come.
—Michael, Fort Worth, TX.

Muslim reaction
As a Muslim Pakistani woman, he is the first and only Pope I have known in my 29 years of life. I always considered him as a man of peace because he always stood for the peace of the world by talking against the wars. He always stood against the sexual scandals no matter how harsh those scandals were on his religion. He touched the heart of not only millions of Catholics but also millions of Muslims by standing against wars and cruelty.
—Farheen Rizvi, Forest Hill, Md.

Polish pride
When I heard the news of Pope John Paul's death, I remembered the day he was elected Pope in 1978.  As a descendant of Polish Jews, I felt a surge of pride despite a history of problematic relations between the country's Catholic majority and its Jewish community which lived there for 1,000 years.  I wished him well then, and I cried today while watching the news.  As a Jew  I am grateful for the things that he did to build bridges to our people and eliminate the old prejudices and stereotypes that had corrupted relations between Christendom and Judaism. I will always remember the image of him at the Wailing Wall praying and placing the note in the crevices of our people's most holy place.  I will also remember his going to the synagogue in Rome and to Auschwitz and his willingness to address the church's policies during the Holocaust by opening the Vatican files.  However, even more so, I will remember him as a man who was directly impacted by the Nazi occupation of his country, just as my ancestors were, and his courage in fighting both the Nazis and the Communists who were oppressing his country.  Without his inspiration, Communism would not have fallen in Eastern Europe.
—Steve Tursky, Fairfax, Va.

A man of the world
Pope John Paul II saw goodness in all people, because he saw God in all people.  Through his travels, he interacted with rich and poor alike, showing that he believed in the dignity of all men.  Whether or not you agreed with him, his actions toward others demanded that you respected him.  I believe that he left a mark on the world and the papacy, and I'm sure that now he rests in peace with the Lord, whom he served so well.
—Bob Gan, Honesdale, Pa.

Father of the largest family
The man who endured so much strife in his life, the man with no family, who became the beloved Father of the largest family in the world, has left us to go home to be with his Father.  God bless you and keep you John Paul, the entire world will miss you!
—Eileen, Newport News, Va.

Jewish perspective
As a Jew and an American, I am saddened by the loss of the Pope. While I do not agree with his position on certain social issues like abortion and birth control, I have always respected and admired his efforts to bring together the diverse interests of the people of Earth. His outreach to Jews, Muslims and people of other faiths and his determination to make all of us realize how important it is that we learn to respect each other and live together in peace makes him one of the most important people in history. I hope in death that he can remain a beacon of hope and teacher to all of the preciousness of life. Rest in peace.   
—Bob Korren, Bedford, N.Y.

Living proof of God
Pope John Paul II is the only Pope I have ever known.  I remember him being elected and the excitement in my school. There was so much expectation and so much anticipation. John Paul II was a truly spiritual and prayerful man.  The genuineness of his faith, the firmness of his belief that he could accomplish great good in the name of God and accomplish it peacefully, with gentleness, was a model of Christ's teachings. He was, to me, the living proof that everything God asks of us spiritually is attainable.
—Donna, Philadelphia, Pa.

Loving the youth
As a Catholic teenager, I can confidently say that John Paul II was a man who truly cared for the youth of our world. His love for all of us radiated so brightly. John Paul II, we love you.
—Jesse, Bemidji, Minn.

What the future will say
Pope John Paul II, more than anyone else, deserves tremendous credit for bringing about the end of the Soviet Union's control of Eastern Europe, and eventually, the Soviet Union. In addition, his reaching out to Orthodox Christians, Jews, and Muslims, will hopefully advance a dialogue towards reconciliation. Unfortunately, I believe that when we look back 50 - 100 years from now, his tenure will be noted by its inaction as well; His failure to support the popular uprisings in Latin America and his failure to promote women into a greater role in the church.
—Allen Tomlinson, Washington DC

He not only talked the talk, but walked the walk
As a man of no faith the man made me question my beliefs.  John Paul was a great man who talked the talk and walked the walk. I am humbled by him as a human being.  Pride is one of the seven deadly sins spoken of by God and he made me call my own into question.  Tomorrow I will return to my own church to pray for him.  If there was a man of god this was one.
-M. Buckwalter, Phoenixville, Pa.

Welcome home
What a glorious party there must be in heaven tonight! Can you just picture John Paul II being greeted at the Lord's table, being offered a glass of wine, as the Lord says "welcome home, good and faithful servant"!
-Valentine, Bensalem, Pa.

Buddhist thoughts
I am a Buddhist teenager that was once a Christian, and although I don't agree with the philosophy of the Catholic Church, I did (and still do) greatly admire Pope John Paul II. He was truly a wonderful man in all spiritual aspects. He taught many lessons to people, no matter what religion they practiced. He shall be surely missed. I just pray that everyone will be able to use his noble actions and deeds as precedents so we become a better, more spiritual people. Goodbye, Pope John Paul II. We will always remember you in high regard.
—Katherine, Canandaigua, N.Y. 

‘He is truly a saint’
He was all that kept the Catholic Church together through difficult scandals and horrible atrocities throughout the world.  He is truly a Saint and without a doubt the most influential Pope ever to head the Church.  I am saddened and yet hopeful his example inspires other powerfully influential men and women to greatness.
—Kelly L., Calif.

Loss on earth
As I celebrate the end of our loving Pope's suffering on earth and his beautiful heavenly reward, I can't help but feel our great loss on earth.  He is a beautiful example of what a human being who loves God and believes in the gift of His Son can be. I pray that I might more closely follow his path, committed to the truth of God's love for all of us.
—Lynne, Belleville, Ill.

Shepherd returns home
It is the good Shepherd who leads his flock home at any cost.  Now that the flock is once again on the path home, it is time for the Shepherd to return home himself.
—Anonymous, Worcester, Mass. 

I disagreed, but always admired
I am a former Catholic turned Unitarian. Although I didn't agree with his theology, I admired Pope John Paul II as a man of peace who bridged the gaps between Christians, Jews and Muslims by visiting mosques and synagogues. He reached out to others in the hope that we might better understand each other despite our religious differences. He also reached out to the Orthodox Christian Churches and tried to mend relations with them after a nearly a millennium long split. That is to be admired. The next Pope has very large shoes to fill. I will miss Pope John Paul II as a powerful force for peace and justice around the world. God bless him.
—Sally Burnell, Kent, Ohio

‘Pope John Paul showed me the way’
Being raised a Southern Baptist, I often heard many negative comments about the Catholic Church.  However, seeing the works and good deeds of Pope John Paul II has brought me to have a greater love and deeper respect for the Catholic religion and its people.  It is figures such as Pope John Paul II that have shown me the way in which I wish to lead my life, but never will I or anyone else be as great of a person as he was.
—Richard Willis, Pelham, Ga.

Completed his mission on earth
The Pope, a great man of God who did so much for mankind will surely be missed. May God bless all whose hearts are heavy during this time. God has called on the Pope to do his great and mighty works and he has completed his mission here on earth and will continue to do great works in heaven. May God bless you Pope John Paul II. You have made a difference in this world you have left behind.
Lucile F. Hendricks, Philadelphia, Pa.

'He will be surely missed'
I am a Born Again Christian, but I am no less saddened by the passing of such a Great Man of God. He should be to all, an example on how we should live and treat others.  He will be surely missed.  As he slips the surely bonds of earth, he is now touching the face of God.  May God Bless us all.
—Christiane Howe, Vernon, Vt.

A Beacon of light
As a man, the Pope embodied the essence of the human spirit:  compassionate, ambitious, courageous and driven.  As a Pope, John Paul became Peter:  a rock of Christian morals, a spirit of inexhaustible commitment to life, a leader whose voice rang strong in the four corners of the Earth, and a beacon of light and hope for his dreary flock. God speed John Paul.
—J.R. Silva, Midland, Texas

The Holy Father has instilled upon the world love that he has shown for all of the world, not just those of the Catholic faith.  He has shown compassion; love, given great comfort to everyone, of every faith.  He is a wonderful example for the entire world to follow - one that he has received from God - following God's Word.
—Alene Knox, Nampa, Idaho

Arrival to God
My sorrow about our Pope is in my heart, carved deep and it is strong!  I am sure God will welcome John Paul II on his arrival, for his faithful service to Him and to us.  He will hold him in the palm of his hand!
—Crystal S., Miami Beach, Fla. 

My father
The Pope has done his work on earth. He has been a spiritual leader to me as a young lady until I became an adult. A Father who you could turn to for advice and a friend who is generous and honest. I have tears in my eyes at this time of his departure from this sinful world that has become evil. May God give me the strength to cope. May God comfort those that have to continue what he left behind.
—Joy Smith, Georgetown, South America

His suffering has been an inspiration to all of us who have had illnesses or seen loved ones suffer. God bless him.
—Wayne Levesque, New Orleans, La.

Exemplary life
I think he has led an exemplary life and I'm so encouraged that he has reached so many young people. God's will be done for this gracious man who has done a great job as our leader and I'm Catholic because of his steadfast leadership.
—Louise, Heflin, Ala.

Tears of light
My heart is heavy with sadness, yet tears I shed are not because he is gone.  I cry because the thought of him with the Lord outweighs my heavy heart, they are tears of light. Words cannot describe him, nor begin to show what a beautiful holy man he was.  The world will miss him, as so shall I?
—Angela Alexander, Kingsford, Mich.

Catholic in my heart
I am a non-Catholic who has long admired and respected this man and I am deeply saddened by his current condition.  I was still in high school when Pope John Paul was elevated to his position and I am now a 44-year-old man.  Things change, but the Holy Father has always been a figure of light and hope in an often ugly world.  Perhaps that is why he was chosen by God to do His work?  Perhaps I, too, am a Catholic in my heart?  I will continue to pray for John Paul but will accept — with great sadness — God's decision to take him.
—Doug Evans, Greensburg, Pa.

I disliked the song, but loved the singer
I am by no means a religious person. It's just not something that I believe in. However, just because I do not believe in the story does not mean I do not believe in the storyteller. John Paul II was a great man who touched millions of lives and will be greatly missed.
—Jeff, La Mirada, Calif.

A guiding light
Pope John Paul II will live on in our hearts forever. May God bless you Pope John Paul II and may you now be at peace with God.
—Debbie, South Riding, Va.

‘I am orphaned’
I'm so very sad. My father has died and I am orphaned. I am about as lapsed as a Catholic can get and still be Catholic, yet I have cried and prayed for this man who held me and the entire world in his loving arms, even if we disagreed and rebelled against his church. Karol, God bless you. Be free and joyous in your Father's presence. Watch over us. You will not be forgotten.

Worldwide loss
His loss will be felt worldwide. He lived his life with great dignity and love of God. He is a true servant.

‘God is with him’
I pray right now that Pope John Paul will be in peace and that God is with him. Many are unaware of the sacrifices he made during the 1940s. He helped save Jewish people during World War II. He is one of the most forgiving persons on earth. It would be so difficult to forgive your assailant that tried to kill you. I pray for him, and for all people.
God is with him.
—Molly, Leavenworth, Kan.

Il Papa
As a recently converted Catholic, the mystery of the church is precious to me, and knowing that our beloved Il Papa is with his Father soon comforts me. May all his children find comfort and find it in themselves to forgive others and themselves for their "trespasses". Il Papa loved us so much and loving others is the best expression of his love.
—Linda Baumgartner, Amelia, Ohio


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