My Wife & I saw Our Holy Father when he visited Baltimore Maryland USA in 1995. We drove down from Pennsylvania and as his Pope-Mobile passed by we were able to be in his presence for a brief moment...within 10 feet from him. We will never forget that moment.
I heard a story on Catholic radio here in Ann Arbor area that exemplifies one aspect of our Holy Father's Character.
An American priest was able to place a rosary in the hand of JPII & asked the Pope to pray for a priest friend who had lost his faith. The Pope said of course I will...then asked the priest if he would bring his friend to lunch the next day. The American priest found his friend an Italian priest who had a crisis of faith, became an alcoholic and was living on the streets of Rome. He told his friend that the Pope has invited them to lunch tomorrow. The Italian priest said, "no, I can't...I'm not ready...I can't face him". His American friend said, "listen we're having LUNCH with the Pope and you're going one way or the other". At the conclusion of the lunch the Holy Father asked to be alone with the Italian priest...and when alone, he asked the Italian priest..."Father will you hear my confession"...the Italian priest did and afterwards asked the Pope to hear his confession...his faith was renewed...The Pope commissioned him to take care of the homeless on the streets of Rome and as far as I know is still doing that work.
We [the world] were so lucky to live during his time...and we didn't even know it...till now.
We LOVE you dear Holy Father and we miss YOU very much !!!