September 13th 2012 marked the 25th anniversary since JPII was in San Antonio and I got to see him! When he celebrated Mass it is estimated that 350,000 ppl attended and it stands as a Texas record for an audience at a single event.
Three days before he came to say Mass, a freak storm tore up 12 story towers that were built behind the outdoors altar, but nobody was hurt.
In 1978, I was on a grandstand among the 500 people assembled to form the "People's Choir." We were to sing during the Eucharistic Celebration in an open field with Pope John Paul II. At first I could not understand why during our rehearsals we were singing in one voice (tone) only, not knowing other groups were also rehearsing in a different voice, but when the actual day came the different voices blended in harmony. It was "heavenly." He came to Cebu, Philippines twice.
A not-so-small, small world in the Catholic Church. Yep. Profound moment in my life, and I have such a fondness for Papa.
Yes I was blessed to meet and shake the hand of John Paul II in 2000. My ex-boyfriend is Polish and arranged the meeting (he himself had met JPII about 6 times and has some wonderful pics to show for it. They look like two buddies, with John Paul II always happy to see him and with an arm around him. He even received Holy Communion from him.) I also saw Pope Benedict a few times as I live in Italy for some months during the year. One year we could not get close to him because of the crowds. My friend and I gave up and headed back home. On a lonely street we saw the Popemobile come back from where he had been. No-one had thought to line the streets on his RETURN so we were lucky we saw him close up and with no-one around!
In 1976, I went to Italy with my maternal grandparents, my older brother and a multitude of great Aunts and Uncles. We attended mass in Vatican Square. I passed out (I have type 1 diabetes and just needed food) Anyway, I was taken to the sick station and the pope came in and blessed me, along with everyone there, mostly my extended family. This unscheduled personal audience with the pope will always be charished by myself and all now deceased great aunts, uncles and grandparents.
Thanks for asking.