"His was always a voice of hope, and I think that that would be very appropriate and very fitting for anyone who was commenting about him, to tell the people, 'Be not afraid '....."  - Father Bud Roland

" ... On Saturday April 2, we arrived at St. Peter's Square at about 11:30 pm. The entire Via della Concliiazione which leads into the square was a mass of humanity. People were covering the square, some kneeling, other sitting wrapped in blankets, others walking or staring at the windows of the papal apartments, which looked the same as last night... but the Pope is no longer there, only his body.
A prayer service began shortly after midnight. The Scripture readings were taken from the Feast of Divine Mercy, which is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter and was made a feast day by John Paul II, taking his inspiration from Saint Faustina Kowalska, a nun who lived in Krakow and died in 1937. The double coincidence that the Pope has died on a First Saturday and on the vigil of the Feast of Divine Mercy which he instituted is truly remarkable. I take it as a sign that the Lord has chosen the exact moment when he wanted to take John Paul II to himself.
At one point in the prayer service, one of the bishops who was speaking asked everyone to lift a round of applause up to the heavens. The entire piazza began clapping, and sustained this applause vigorously for almost ten minutes. It was quite remarkable. Towards the end of the applause, some young people began the favorite chant, "Giovanni Paolo!" and soon the entire square was calling out the name of our beloved father. The crowd then joined together in singing the Our Father in Italian. The prayer service concluded with the singing of the "Salve Regina" in Latin, an ancient hymn to Mary asking that "after this our exile" she will "show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus." A prayer that I know on this night has been answered for John Paul II. A light shone on the icon of Mary and the Christ child which John Paul himself put in the square after the assassination attempt in 1981.
About a block from St Peter's Square, all-night adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is being held at the Church of the Holy Spirit, which was dedicated by John Paul as the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Rome ten years ago on this feast day, Divine Mercy Sunday 1995. I attended part of a Mass there which was jammed with people. At the moment of the customary prayer for the pope during the Eucharistic prayer of the Mass, there was only a prayer for the bishops of the church and no mention of the pope...because there is no pope. Also at the time of the prayers for the dead, the priest prayed "for our brother John Paul...in baptism he died with Christ, may he also share his resurrection." That moment made things hit home for me...." - Father Peter Mitchell, a priest in Rome

"Pope John Paul personally, and his works and ideas, have had a strong impact on the world." -  Patriarch Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow of the Russian Orthodox Church

"Pope John Paul was a leader of manifest holiness and a faithful and prayerful friend of the Anglican Church. There will be time in the days ahead for the proper tributes to be paid; for now we remember his life and ministry with thankfulness and hold the church that he led in our thoughts and prayers." -  Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams

Pope John Paul II was "unquestionably the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world during the last 100 years. He was convinced that the complex problems of our world are ultimately moral and spiritual in nature, and only Christ can set us free from the shackles of sin and greed and violence." - Rev. Billy Graham

"The forgiveness of this man -- this is huge. For him to go into the prison and meet with a man that tried to kill him and to forgive him, this is an example, of course, that Christ gave from the cross when he said, 'Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.' For him to go into the prison and to forgive this man and speak to him, and pray with him, was a great example to all of us. We need to forgive and move on in life, and John Paul II certainly did that -- and that is a great example to everyone." - Rev. Franklin Graham

"If Evangelicals, like me, could have claimed a Pope as our own, he would have been John Paul II. He did more to bring together conservative Bible-believing Christians in common cause with Catholics, both lay and clergy, than anyone else in the Roman Church's history. He had an obvious love of Christ that showed unapologetically in his bright eyes."
 -
 Rev. Rob Schenck,  Evangelical Church Alliance

"He rallied the captive nations of Eastern Europe to throw off the yoke of Soviet communism. Furthermore, he emerged as one of the most eloquent spokesmen anywhere in the world for religious freedom for all human beings as a universal right, and for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death and everywhere in between." - Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission

"Pope John Paul II was a global leader for a global age. Few Jews will forget his visit to the synagogue in Rome or his deeply moving pilgrimage to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. That one act of atonement for the suffering caused to Jews by the Church was one of the great healing moments of our time."  - Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks

"No Pope did more for the Jews." - Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles

"Muslims worldwide respected Pope John Paul II as an advocate for justice and human rights. His message of international peace and interfaith reconciliation is one that will reverberate for decades to come. We offer our sincere condolences to members of the Roman Catholic Church and to all those who seek a more peaceful world." - Council on American-Islamic Relations

"In spite of increasing age and declining physical health, his relentless efforts to visit different parts of the world and meet the people who lived there to promote harmony and spiritual values, exemplified not only his deep concern but also the courage he brought to fulfilling it." - The Dalai Lama

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