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Did you encounter Pope John Paul II?
A placard showing the late Pope John Paul II holding a baby is displayed on a lamp post in Rome for the beatification.
April 29th, 2011
03:43 PM ET

Did you encounter Pope John Paul II?

Pope John Paul II is said to have been seen in person by more people than any other figure on Earth. He was pope from his election in 1978 to his death in 2005 and traveled to all corners of the globe to meet people where they lived.

John Paul II will be beatified in Rome on Sunday, the last step before sainthood.

Did you ever see John Paul II in Rome or did he come to your hometown? What was it like to meet the pope? Share your comments with us below.

And you can also share photos and videos through CNN's iReport.

Your stories and images could be included in the beatification coverage on CNN’s Belief Blog.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Celebrity • Christianity • Church • Europe • Italy • Pope John Paul II

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. JW

    The most memorable and closest encounter with the Holy Father Pope John Paul II was during World Youth Day 2002. The Holy Father was expected to use the lift to disembark from the plane on arrival at Toronto Pearson International Airport due to his physical condition. However, he did not let his physical condition slow him down and delighted and inspired everyone by coming down the stairs, slowly, and one step at a time. That was a truly moving and inspiring start to World Youth Day 2002. I witnessed this via television screens from the site of the Opening Mass following rehearsal as I was a graduate of St. Michael's Choir School of Toronto and part of the choir. My personal connection was during the Closing/Papal Mass of World Youth Day 2002 several days later when we were privileged to sing for the Holy Father and were the only choir present on the grand stage with the Holy Father in our school's uniform. Our faith was renewed and we were deeply moved when the Holy Father blessed us just before mass.

    May 1, 2011 at 8:30 am |
  2. jimtanker

    Did I encounter PJP II? No, and I'm glad. I'm glad that I have never encountered ANY catholic priests. Otherwise I would probably be in counseling for se xual abuse.

    May 1, 2011 at 3:37 am |
    • wipeOut

      @jim...don't worry dude, they will spare a 4'11" 360 pounds and acne filled-face brat like you and would rather molest a rhino.

      May 1, 2011 at 5:31 am |
  3. Adelina

    I know a man like Pope. People, look around. There are always Christians who are like Pope or Catholic saints. Martyrdom for Christ takes place in everyday life for some Christians.

    May 1, 2011 at 3:23 am |
    • jimtanker

      "Martyrdom for Christ "

      Really? How many people are getting "martyred" for jebus every day?

      May 1, 2011 at 3:38 am |
    • Adelina

      @Jim, 150,000 – 170,000 martyrs a year. But I meant living for Jesus with one's life constantly at stake – that's 200 million Christians around the world.

      May 1, 2011 at 7:52 am |
    • Adelina

      Jim, the Savior's name is spelled "Jesus." Why are American atheists so stupid with their first and only language?

      May 1, 2011 at 7:54 am |
  4. Cynthia Dreesen

    On Divine Mercy Sunday in 1993, we were in St. Peter's Square for the beatification of Sister Mary Faustina (now Saint Faustina). The Papal Guard allowed us to sit in the handicapped section because my 12 yr. daughter was in her wheelchair. We found ourselves directly below the altar and behind us was a "sea" of people approximately 225,000 strong. After the Mass, we couldn't believe it when the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, started down the stairs towards my daughter Deanna in the wheelchair. Tears just welled in my eyes as I watched him place his hands on her head and give her a blessing. A papal photographer took a beautiful picture of the Pope, my Mother, and my daughter and me. My beautiful daughter has since gone to heaven, but the memory of that moment will linger a lifetime. I will be watching CNN in hopes of seeing coverage of the beatification service, and recalling my time there many years ago.

    May 1, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  5. chrissaire

    I saw the Pope when he visited the Philippines for the 1995 World Youth Day. The streets were flooded with millions of people for that Sunday mass that he was going to officiate. It was a distant encounter seeing him pass by in his pope mobile- but it was more than enough experience that changed my life forever.

    April 30, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  6. Jacek

    I met Jan Pawel II on many ocasions with His pilgrim visits to my home Warsaw, but the closest touch – hand with hand – was with my visit to Rome at the public audience (1990).

    April 30, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  7. eddy

    Postmaster?
    I like to read testimonials, not (also) crap.
    thanks,

    April 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  8. Casey

    Clearly... Evil is working in the world and seeks to tear down anything that is focused on salvation, and the Lords message of Hope. You see it every day on these message boards, and in the world at large. We should not allow the venom of others to infect our following of Jesus's teachings. Although, as humans, it can be difficut. But if we lower ourselves because of these attacks, even in the name of defending the Faith, it only strengthens the darkness. Rather, pray that all will find peace, and one day, hear the calling of the Lord our God.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  9. Casey

    I was lucky enough to be in Rome on the day Mother Theresa was Beautified. Pope John Paul II gave a brief homilly... and although it was clear that he was in great physical pain,.... we all felt blessed and moved by his warmth and message of peace. This day was the beginning of my return to the Church.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  10. Marietta Spearman

    The Pope drove past us, as we stood in front of our home, and he waved to us. He was in Manitoba for a ceremony in Birds Hill Park, Manitoba, Canada. The location is now called Pope's Hill and there is a monument of John Paul's face done in bronze at this location. This was September l984. He spoke to thousands of people here. I feel honoured to have seen him in person.

    April 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  11. Jacob Stone

    Pope John Paul 2 The Patron Saint of Pedophilia

    April 30, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Jacob, the Pope is not responsible for men of the cloth that are blinded by carnal sin of lust in the flesh. Put the blame on those that changed God's laws what we are to do with rapist in this world. Same as how they changed God's law for murderers. Hey, I'd be looking at all the greedy lawyers in the world as a good start where you can point your fingers.

      Amen.

      April 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  12. Adelina

    The Christian Church including Catholics will endure beyond the present planet, beyond present universe. Catholics just need to read the Bible more regularly...

    April 30, 2011 at 5:44 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Amen Adelina.

      Amen.

      April 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • I_get _it

      Adelina,

      "The Christian Church including Catholics will endure beyond the present planet, beyond present universe."

      In your dreams, dear. You just want it so much.

      April 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I_get _it, both Adelina and I are Christians. Neither of us are of the Catholic faith. We both know however, Catholics that just listen to man and not read their Bible better start reading His truth on their own.

      And you? Especially true for you non-believers is to read His truth about Life and the hereafter (the Bible) and shelf that ego of yours. Then repent, ask Jesus for forgiveness and sin no more. Not a lot to ask.

      Amen.

      April 30, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  13. sanmiguel

    I was blessed to have seen him in person several times. The first time in 1987, I noted that he "literally shines." When I actually met him and shook his hand in 2004, I felt nothing but joy, as if I was a little child meeting the real Santa Claus. All I could say when I shook his hand was "thank you" over and over. To be in his presence was to feel a glimpse of God, undescribable really, but moments full of peace, love and joy, all fruits of the Spirit indeed.

    April 30, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  14. Chris Double U

    The picture makes me sick with the problems of pedophiles being priests. I'm an atheist but I'm starting to belive those nut job conspiracy theorists that say that the Catholic church are secret satanic worship.

    April 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  15. Nicholas

    I saw JP at midnight mass in 1989. As Mass was finishing I saw JP exiting thru a side chapel. He appeared "brighter" than the ambient light. He was so much brighter than normal that I consider this the only "supernatural" event I have ever seen. God Bless JP2.

    April 29, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  16. Ann

    To all you non-believers. I acutally felt God! I would NOT LIE about God. I had a very devout Catholic friend, who was also a very popular, beautiful woman who I felt inferior to. She said while praying the "Stations of the Cross", she felt Jesus's arms around her and the next day before saying my moring prayers, I thought, "how come she gets to feel Jesus's arms around her and I don't! I then knelt down and prayed and felt something come from behind me and it lasted just one second and it was the most love I've ever felt in my life. NOTHING could compare, no other love. There was my answer, I was as good as she was.

    April 29, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • Casey

      How very beautiful Ann. You are truly blessed.

      April 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  17. greg usaf retired

    yes I did met the pope. It was at the italian embasy 1979. I received communion, kissed his ring, was blessed by him, stood in the receiving line next to him. the pope and i talked for about 30 minutes. I'll never forget him.

    April 29, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  18. Cass

    i posted this story on another one of these entries, but anyhow, my mother was infertile and tried for years to get pregnant but couldn't. She went to one of those "private" Vatican masses, which really means about 100 people, led by Pope John Paul II. He came to say a few words to each person there. My mother wanted to say what was wrong but couldn't speak, so her mother told him, and he smiled, took her hand, and assured her through faith all things are possible. She became pregnant with me soon after that. She got ovarian cancer right after I was born and my grandmother asked for intercession from God through Pope John Paull II, saying my mother had tried so hard to have me, it wasn't right for her to not truly be able to be a mother. Though she was given a 60% mortality rate for the first year of her cancer, she is alive and cancer free over 20 years later.

    April 29, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Ann Ecdote

      Cass,

      How wonderful that it all worked out for you and your mother.

      I know a woman who also tried to conceive for many years. They weren't willing to go through expensive in-vitro procedures, so they finally just gave up and adopted a baby boy. In less than six months after the adoption, she became pregnant... and had another son... no pope, no praying, no shaman... just wacky nature.

      April 29, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  19. sotiknights

    I met the Holy Father on the tarmac of Newark Airport in November of 1995. We all stood patiently as his helicopter arrived from the Wall Street heilipad to ferry him to his TWA jet enroute to Baltimore, MD. We never though he would take the time to greet any of us waiting patiently against the rope line, but a woman standing behind my family shouted something to him in Polish and he quicklly turned his head and walked over to personally meet with each of us.

    A memorable day I'll never forget.

    April 29, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Nudge

      Did he slip you the holy polish sausage? Now THAT's a memorable occasion!

      April 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, nudge thinks himself to be funny with his carnal babble.

      Not.

      Amen.

      April 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  20. Reality

    There never was and never will be physical resurrections i.e. no Easter, no Christianity, no sainthood for JPII and an end to the ranting of HeavenSent and his fellow red-neck Christians. Priceless!!!!

    April 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Not for you Reality if you don't change your sinful ways, repent, and ask Jesus for forgiveness.

      Amen.

      April 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      So there is no Christianity? Who exactly then do you always rail against? Sorry, I didn't realize, you had full knowledge of what exists and what doesn't? Very impressive for a mere man

      April 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Steve, Reality, like all non-believers that get their noses out of joint, just as satan did because they aren't God and want to be so badly. They are all blinded by the sin of Pride. None wanting to repent, ask Jesus for forgiveness and sin no more.

      Amen.

      April 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • I_get _it

      HeavenSent,
      "because they aren't God and want to be so badly."

      Just like your quest for immortality. You want it so badly, you'll imagine, invent and believe almost anything to ensure it.

      April 30, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I_get _it, you're too funny. Only you non-believers wished Jesus' word wasn't true. However, we believe every word of His to be true. I'll wave to you from the other side of the divide when we get to paradise to prove it.

      Amen.

      April 30, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Wordy Woodpicker

      @Heavensent,

      Are you from some uneducated, backwater place where folks say, "I wished I had something", instead of, "I wish I had something"?

      April 30, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Maybe

      HeavenSent,
      "I'll wave to you from the other side of the divide when we get to paradise to prove it."

      Or maybe you'll be too busy peeling gr.apes for those who used their brains in this life... and didn't condemn others.

      April 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.