I recall hearing “JP II We Love You” being chanted. I was lucky and won tickets to see Pope John Paul II in St. Louis (in January of 1999). A bunch of us from St. Mary’s parish in Oxford drove a van down. It was a wonderful experience and I saw the pope close up as he rode by in the German built Pope-Mobile. He looked like he rather interact with the crowd more closely, but his security detail had forced him into the bullet proof bubble-like vehicle.
I volunteered for the 2000 Jubilee Year and went to Rome with several of my friends from Miami University. We distributed Jubilee materials and bibles, did a couple service projects, and some sightseeing. We were conversing with the Swiss guard (those nice guys that form the Pope’s private guard and dress in interesting outfits that were supposedly designed by Michelangelo) and found out that the Pope was at his summer residence and we could obtain tickets to see him later in the week. We seized the opportunity and saw the Pope at Castle Gandolfo.
He was truly a remarkable and courageous man that followed in the foot steps of Christ. I was always impressed that he visited the man (in prison) who tried to assassinate him and told him that he forgave him. He reached out to all peoples and tried to respectfully and lovingly led them to Christ, their Savior.
JP II We Love You!