Here are some more that really piqued my interest.
My first impressions of the pope came in my first years of Catholic elementary school. Pope John Paul II was on a U.S. tour and members of my school and church traveled to see him. Our very old, very tiny first-grade teacher, Mrs. Fisher, told her story upon returning: Though she had been in the front row of worshippers, she was quickly pushed back by the crowds of people reaching out to touch the pope's hand. Nearly overtaken by the crowds, Mrs. Fisher felt a hand take hers and pull her up. I will never forget the light in that little old woman's eyes as she told us she looked up to see that it was the pope who had taken her hand. He had noticed and taken the time for the smallest and frailest of the thousands of worshippers, to touch this woman's life so wonderfully and so simply, and for that my pope means the world to me.
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
I think he was a saint in the making. Twenty-three years ago my daughter was in her second bout with cancer. We were granted an audience with the pope and he blessed her. Her cancer is gone and she has been in remission for 20 years. He truly was/is a saint.
Paul Dombrosky; Honolulu, Hawaii
John Paul II was the embodiment of the Vicar of Christ. He answered only to Jesus. He was not swayed by public opinion or the opinion of world leaders. He stood for truth at all times. His consistent stand for life included the unborn, starving children, workers, families, students, the elderly, the infirm and even condemned prisoners. Truth does not vary over time, neither did John Paul's moral teaching. He was an inspiration to all. As a Polish-American I lost not only my Holy Father but a fellow Pole as well. John Paul II acted with the Lord to free Europe from Soviet enslavement, yet that is not his greatest achievement. His example of what one man can do with faith in Jesus is his lasting gift to humanity.
Mark Stepien; Dearborn Heights, Michigan