POPE JOHN PAUL II
Four years ago today, April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II died.
His was the second longest reign of any pope.
He surely earned the right to be known in history as
Pope John Paul the Great
because of the firm but gentle hand with which he guided the Church
through tumultuous and difficult years.
He was above all a gentle and warm human being.
He loved everyone and was loved by almost everyone.
Those who did not love him resisted his love because of the firmness
with which he guided the Church.
Leo Rugiens had the great privilege and pleasure
of being his house guest in Krakov for three days
at the end of September, 1978 and of being the
first person, aside from his household, to express his sympathy
on the morning of the death of Pope John Paul I.
Little did Leo realize on that occasion that he was
speaking to the man who would be the next Pope
in just a matter of weeks.
Thank God for the gift of Pope John Paul the Great to the Church.
May he rest in peace!