My first encounter with a saint – Pope John Paul II

As a student at Loyola’s Rome Center, I had the amazing opportunity to meet Pope John Paul II. I was told by my professors that the occasion on which this photo was taken was a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to meet the Pope. Just to prove that professors are not always right, I met Pope John Paul II no less than THREE other occasions during my time in Rome – in the gardens of the Vatican, at the Colosseum, and at St. Peter’s.

Like Ronald Reagan and Lech Walesa of that same time period, he had that aura of greatness that changed me and the world forever.

Pope John Paul II’s message to us was: BE NOT AFRAID. Imagine how the world would be different –  from the South Side of Chicago all the way to the Ukraine if we would accept this challenge!

 

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