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Pope John Paul II: In Memoriam

Pope John Paul II’s leadership style made him one of the world’s most beloved figures. Readers share their thoughts on the passing of the Pope.
Pope John Paul II gives his blessing from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 30, 2005. 
Pope John Paul II gives his blessing from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 30, 2005.  Pier Paolo Cito / AP file

Your Assignment: One of the most influential figures of the late twentieth and early twenty-first 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 one billion Roman Catholics. Below, readers share their thoughts on the passing of the Pope

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.

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, TX

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.

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.

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, OH

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, ID

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   

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