We have had many fond memories during our 36 years of marriage. But one of the best was when Pope John Paul II blessed our young family.
We were stationed in Worms, Germany, when our military Catholic church planned a trip to Rome. It was for the 1984 Holy Year Military Pilgrimage. My husband, John, was a major, assigned to the 5th Signal Command. Our three children, David, 15, Laura (Sanders), 14, and Rae (Izzo), 12, loved Germany and made Worms their home quicker than we did.
While we were stationed there, David and Laura were confirmed in the Worms Dom. It is an 18th Century Catholic church, and it is the same church where Martin Luther made his stand against the church. Our daughter, Rae, was in the annual Martin Luther play as Luther's daughter.
Two deacons from Vatican University were assigned to our church that year and told us what to see and what to do during our trip to Rome. One of them, Father Brad Sterret, gave us a personal tour of Rome and told us his personal stories about the Vatican and Pope John Paul.
Rae even carried the English sign in front of our group of military priest, soldiers and families from all branches of service who were stationed in Europe.
Our son, David, whose hobby was photography, took a picture of Pope John Paul as he was driven by in the Popemobile. As the Pope came near, he looked down at our little American family and smiled. Looking right at us, he made the sign of the cross, blessing us. It wasn't until we developed David's film that we saw what he had captured. There was such a beautiful spirit, holiness, peace and love in his eyes and face. We always felt the picture captured the true essence of the Pope. We have had a special place in our hearts for him.
Thanks for letting me share our family memories. We have been truly blessed. Pope John Paul II will be missed by our American family and the entire world.
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