Beh Pope John Paul poster

When I told mom I was going to Warsaw, she reminded me to honor Pope John Paul II.

I am not a practicing Catholic who goes to mass every Sunday, pray the rosary and do the Hail Marys. But sure, I will remember the late great pope who recently turned into a saint.

It was quite easy to remember him in Warsaw. To start with, a church, All Saints Church, which is very near our temporary home in Bagno, had a statue of the pope right outside. I assumed he was loved considering the candles that surrounded him. (Or was that because it was Holy Week?)

Hubby saw posters in many streets – of a man he thought was Robin Williams. I corrected him “That’s Pope John Paul II.” But honestly, I didn’t at first take notice of the posters because in passing, the pope did resemble Robin Williams, so I thought it was a poster for a film depicting the actor’s life.

The avenue of the pope.

The avenue of the pope.

And then there was this wide avenue near the Jewish Ghetto named after him.

I bought a wooden souvenir – a relief portrait of the pope – for mom.

Who was Pope Joh Paul II me? He was the dignified man in white who waved to me (and million others) from his white popemobile. The year was 1981 and I was in grade school. He was my role model, he inspired me to become a nun.

I didn’t become one though.