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Encore Presentation: The Last Days of Pope John Paul II: The Untold Stories

Aired April 8, 2007 - 14:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: CNN PRESENTS: Winner of the International Documentary Association's Distinguished Award for Best Continuing Series.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): A whole crowd has gathered in ordered to pray in St. Peter's Square.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH AND VALUES CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a time the world came together.

A square, pulsing with prayer, hoping for life, preparing for death. For nearly 27 years, we watched as this man, the leader of the Catholic Church, grew old and frail. His inner strength was apparent to all.

Now, it is a time for faith and reflection. The moment before everything changed.

(on camera): The Vatican, St. Peter's Square.

This is where they came. Those millions who rushed to Rome to pray, to grieve, and to say good-bye to their beloved John Paul II.

I'm Delia Gallagher. The images remain as vivid today as they were just a year ago. But for the real story of John Paul's final days, you have to go behind these walls, to those closest to him. Their's are the untold stories. The stories you've never heard, until now.

STANISLAW DZIWISZ, CARDINAL (through translator): My life became his life.

GALLAGHER: For nearly 40 years, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz and Pope John II were inseparable.

DZIWISZ (through translator): I didn't have a private life. His schedule, his work, became my work, my schedule.

GALLAGHER: Dziwisz was the pope's personal secretary. A job he started when John Paul was still Karol Wojtyla, the young archbishop of Krakow.

DZIWISZ (through translator): He asked me, can you come and help me with my work? And I said, when? He said, today. I told him I'd come tomorrow. And tomorrow lasted for more than 39 years.

GALLAGHER: Today, one year after his friend's death, Dziwisz is back home in Krakow. Working the same job. Living in the same home. And praying in the same private chapel where his mentor once prayed.

DZIWISZ (through translator): After breakfast, he'd come here. Lock himself in and pray by himself until 11:00. No one else was allowed in. He'd be here alone with Christ. And not only did he pray, he also worked here. The nuns were always curious about what he was doing. They peeked through the key hole and would see him prostrate on the floor. That was his way of praying. So this chapel was very close to his heart.

CARDINAL EDMUND SZOKA, VATICAN CITY GOVERNOR: He was always very prayerful. And you rarely saw him without a rosary in his hand.

GALLAGHER: Edmund Szoka is the governor, the chief administrator of Vatican City. He met the pope 30 years ago.

SZOKA: Oh, gee, he struck me as a very impressive. Very kind, very gentle person. He had that gift of expressing friendship. Just not only by what he said, but just by his whole personality.

GALLAGHER: A Polish-American was cardinal of Detroit when in 1990, Pope John Paul summoned him to Rome, to help put the Vatican finances in order. A working relationship developed into a friendship.

SZOKA: He always invited me for Christmas dinner and for Easter dinner.

GALLAGHER (on camera): What would that be like? Christmas dinner with the Pope?

SZOKA: Oh, it was delightful. Obviously he would be tired after all the ceremonies. But you know, you wouldn't think so to see him at the meal. He looked very relaxed. And, of course, the only ones there were people who spoke polish because I think it gave him a chance to relax and not have to be thinking in another language.

MOTHER TEKLA FAMIGLIETTI (through translator): It was like seeing the face of Jesus for the first time.

GALLAGHER (voice over): Mother Tekla Famiglietti is the head of the Bridgetine (ph) Nuns in Rome. She first met the pontiff in 1979 after he became pope.

FAMIGLIETTI (through translator): He asked me, what is your mission? And I said, the glorification of God and the reunification of the church. He said, we have a long road ahead of us. And I said, yes, Holy Father, this won't be easy. Even for us.

GALLAGHER: But one year ago they were at the bedside of a dying pope. Saying farewell to a friend. A mentor, and the leader of their church.

SZOKA: I knew that it couldn't go on much longer. DZIWISZ (through translator): God didn't let him suffer long, only three days.

FAMIGLIETTI (through translator): It was the hardest time of my life. The loss was just too great.

GALLAGHER: When we come back, their secrets about the last days of Pope John Paul II.


GALLAGHER: It was a scene like so many we had seen before. January 30th, 2005, Pope John Paul II, perhaps at his happiest, interacting with children. He had become a grandfather figure to the world.

The charismatic face of Catholicism and Christianity. The first pope to enter a synagogue. A man who tried to heal ancient wounds between Catholics and Jews.

A tireless advocate for the poor and downtrodden. And perhaps, no other person was more instrumental in bringing down the Soviet empire.

But he was a man not without his critics, especially in the United States, where many disagreed with his positions on birth control, women in the church, married priests, and homosexuality.

Still, he was the most recognizable figure in the world. His frail appearance, by now, familiar; an 84-year-old man who had survived an assassination attempt, nine surgeries, and Parkinson's disease. Bent, but never broken.

SZOKA: I'd seen him before when he was sick. And, you know, one day he'd really be sick. And the next day he's be right back. So he was very strong in that sense.

GALLAGHER: For more than a decade, speculation had swirled about John Paul's ability to go on. But the most traveled pope in history refused to bow down to his weakening body.

SZOKA: The declining health did not affect his mind. It was clear right to the end. And he didn't let this declining health interfere with his activities. He didn't give up. He didn't say I can't do this anymore. He did it. And he kept doing it.

GALLAGHER (on camera): Did he ever express frustration?

SZOKA: No, never. Never.

GALLAGHER: For years, this Archbishop Renato Boccardo planned the pope's trips.

ARCHBISHOP RENATO BOCCARDO, VATICAN CITY SECRETARY-GENERAL (through translator): I remember when he first started using a cane. Before he'd appeared in public, he tried to put it aside, and try to walk without it. GALLAGHER: He watched John Paul adjust to his declining physical condition.

BOCCARDO (through translator): Gradually he started appearing in public with a cane. And he started to play around with it. I remember when we were in Manila, he started to spin it just like Charlie Chaplain in front of the kids. I think in the end, it became natural for him, you know, this is the way I am.

DR. RODOLFO PROJETTI, DIR., POPE'S MEDICAL TEAM (through translator): Many people described him as the impatient patient. I don't think that's true at all.

GALLAGHER: Doctor Rodolfo Projetti was the head of the pope's medical team at Rome's Gemelli Hospital.

PROJETTI (through translator): But he was impatient in another sense. When he felt better, he couldn't wait to get out of the hospital, which he called Vatican three. And get back to his job. That was important for him. He never wanted to waste time.

GALLAGHER: Nor would he waste time on self-pity.

FAMIGLIETTI (through translator): I remember saying to him. Holy Father, I'm sorry that you are in such pain and that you cannot walk like you did when you were an athlete. And he looked at me, and I always saw the look of Jesus in his face. And he said, Mother Tekla, the doctors did what they could. And I thank them.

But one thing's important for me. I can write many encyclicals, but I believe my suffering, my small suffering can help humanity.

GALLAGHER: Joaquin Navarro Valls is the Vatican spokesman.

(On camera): So you never said to him, you don't have to do it today.

JOAQUIN NAVARRO VALLS, VATICAN SPOKESMAN: Yes. Holy Father it is not necessary. OK. Is there a microphone? Yes. I will do it.

GALLAGHER: Did you ever say to him Holy Father, slow down?

SZOKA: I don't remember if I said it exactly that way. But I don't think it would have done any good.

GALLAGHER: The pope continued on, wanting his personal suffering to be visible, in the most public of ways.

WILTON GREGORY, ARCHBISHOP OF ATLANTA: He still enjoyed and treasured the gift of life.

GALLAGHER: Wilton Gregory is the archbishop of Atlanta.

GREGORY: I think it was a great encouragement to the sick, the elderly, that illnesses, and debilitations don't rob us of our dignity. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news out of the Vatican.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Pope John Paul II, it says, has been taken to the hospital.

GALLAGHER (on camera): It's been six hours since the pope's been admitted.

(voice-over): Late, on the evening of February 1st, 2005, without any warning, the pope was rushed from the Vatican to Gemelli Hospital.

PROJETTI (through translator): We knew it was an emergency and the hospital was prepared to deal with it.

GALLAGHER: Struggling to breathe, the pope was taken to his private suite on the 10th floor.

PROJETTI (through translator): During this critical times, you have to forget that this is the holy father. We have to check our emotions. It's our job.

GALLAGHER: Projetti and his team stabilized the pope's condition. The diagnosis, complications from the flu.

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF: There was a sense, will he make it out of it?

GALLAGHER: CNN Rome Bureau Chief, Alessio Vinci.

VINCI: I guess he was the one who wanted to give us the answer.

GALLAGHER: As the pope recovered, crowds outside the hospital turned his 10-day stay into a celebration. The streets were packed for his release. But behind the scenes at the Vatican, whispered questions. Can the pope go on? Should he step down?


GALLAGHER: February 24th, 2005. Just two weeks after his celebrated release, John Paul II was rushed back to the hospital.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Pope John Paul II, on a respirator after a serious medical setback.

VINCI: Honestly, I think a lot of people were surprised that the pope had gone to the hospital the second time. The first question was, did he go home the first time too soon? Is this time worse? And so, obviously we all start drawing the worst-case scenarios.

GALLAGHER: This time, it was more serious. The pope needed a tracheotomy to breathe.

PROJETTI: The procedure was absolutely necessary to save the Holy Father's life. All other concerns were secondary to performing the tracheotomy. GALLAGHER: Doctor Rodolfo Projetti warned the pope this procedure could cost him his voice. Potentially disastrous for a man whose words were so vital. Cardinal Camillo Ruini was one of the pope's closest aides.

CAMILLO RUINI, CARDINAL: He agreed. Because he knew that without this, he couldn't live. Couldn't go on. And he thought maybe I can learn to speak.

GALLAGHER: The 30-minute operation was kept secret until it was over. The condition of the pope's voice was a mystery.

But his written words upon awakening were telling. To Mary, he wrote, I once again entrust myself. Totus tous. I'm totally yours.

John Paul's love for Mary dated back to his childhood in Poland. Karol Wojtyla was born in the small town of Wadowice. His family apartment overlooked the church of Our Lady, where he served as an altar boy.

Before she died, his mother Emilia encouraged her eight-year-old son to become a priest. Soon after her death, Wojtyla's father took him on a journey. To Cacallvarria, a series of shrines outside his hometown. It was here that his devotion to the Virgin Mary first began.

Decades later, Pope John Paul II would make another pilgrimage. This time to Portugal. To thank Mary, our lady of Fatima, for saving his life.

CHRISTOPHER BELLITTO, ASST. PROF. OF HISTORY, KEAN UNIV.: He believed that in 1981 when the assassination attempt was made on his life in St. Peter's square, that Mary diverted the bullet. Literally touched the path of the bullet so that it didn't hit any major organs.

GALLAGHER: That bullet is now in Fatima, welded into the crown of the Virgin Mary. As John Paul grew older and weaker, his devotion to Mary grew even stronger. In his final year, he visit visited Lourdes, in France. A place of pilgrimage for the sick and suffering. His love of Mary and his feeble condition on full display.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: The struggling, bent, broken, frail, figure appeared before them. And said today I am a sick man, among the sick. I mean, you cannot imagine the resonance that that had in that crowd. Suddenly their suffering had meaning. Had been ennobled by the fact they shared it with this transparently holy man.

NAVARRO FALLS: The health of the Holy Father John Paul II, continues to improve and show progress.

GALLAGHER: March 3rd, 2005. Though the pope's health remained in question, he remained in public. Blessing children outside his hospital window. Reading at a hospital mass. Even appearing at St. Peter's Square via wide screen TV.

VINCI: The Vatican wanted to just project a picture that everything was going to be all right. The pope was going to recover. That this was just another scare. And that you the journalists are making too big of a deal out of this.

GALLAGHER: Two weeks later in mid March, the pope once again journeyed home from the hospital.

VINCI: It was a big television show. I don't think Hollywood could have organized this. Live cameras all along the route, helicopter cameras. There was a camera inside the car driving the pope in the crowd. I mean I have never seen that.

GALLAGHER: But all the careful camera work could not disguise a visibly pale and weakened pope. Within the Vatican, questions about his ability to lead. What if he couldn't continue his duties? What if he fell into a coma?

REV. THOMAS REESE, AUTHOR, "INSIDE THE VATICAN": We don't know what to do if the pope becomes incapacitated. So we hope that the pope writes a document. A secret document that can then be released that says OK, this is how you deal with it.

GALLAGHER: Rumors swirled of a letter written by the pope dictating a plan of succession. Not so, says Archbishop Dziwisz, the pope's personal secretary.

DZIWISZ (through translator): No, he never talked to me about it. But I do know who he did talk to, to Jesus. He did discuss it with some of his closest colleagues, but that was some time ago.

There is this beautiful phrase we use that sums it up, You don't come down from the cross.

ALLEN: I think that resignation was just completely inconsistent with the psychology of the man. This was someone who was profoundly convinced that on May 13th, 1981, the Virgin Mary changed the flight path of a bullet to preserve him in office. And that his pontificate was part of a broader, cosmic story about the forces of good and evil that work in the world. I mean, if that's your conviction, I don't think you ever believe it's up to you to decide when to quit.

GALLAGHER: And the pope made it very clear. Any talk of quitting would not shake his will. He would wait for God to call.


GALLAGHER: Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, but for the first time in 26 years, the pope did not lead mass. He would miss most of holy week.

Instead, he watched it all on Vatican TV. At a time when Christians around the world were commemorating Jesus' last hours, the pope's absence was symbolic. Then, on Easter Sunday, the 84-year-old pontiff made his way to the window above St. Peter's Square. Wanting desperately to see and speak to his flock, whom wanted desperately to hear their pope. But the words would not come out. The microphone pushed away, the pope's frustration evident. His close friend Archbishop Dziwisz was by his side. In his book, "Let Me Go To The House Of The Father," Dziwisz writes, "after John Paul returns from the window, he said, 'It might be better that I die if I cannot complete the mission entrusted to me.'"

ALLEN: There is a lovely kind of poetic arc to all of this. Because if you think back to October 16th, 1978, when Cardinal Wojtyla of Krakow was elected as John Paul II, when he came out onto that central loge (ph) in St. Peter's Square. And gave the blessing and then started to improvise. And if you remember, the pal master of ceremonies actually reached for the pope to pull him away as to say Holy Father, this isn't how it's done. And Wojtyla slapped his hand away. From that moment, it was clear, I'm going to be pope my way.

And there at the very end, you know, that Easter Sunday when the pope was there at the window for that agonizing 12-minute period. Trying to speak and just being utterly unable to do so. And at two different moments his aides actually tried to roll him away from the window. And one again he slapped their hands away. To say here at the very end, I'm still doing this my way. I think there was something marvelously appropriate about that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): To me, his voice was a priceless gift.

GALLAGHER: As young adults, actress Danuda Michelovska (ph) and Karol Wojtyla were in the same theater group in Krakow. It was his voice that first caught her attention.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He stood out in the same way he stood out throughout his life. He was such an extraordinary person. There was something so radiant about him. And you couldn't help but notice him. He could have been a great actor. Perhaps one of the greatest in the world. Because he was such a talent.

GALLAGHER: For decades, they would exchange letters. More than a hundred. The last one just two weeks before his death. A letter never intended to be shared with the public. But now, Danuda Michelovska feels compelled to do just that. The pope's signature noticeably unsteady. But the handwritten words still legible. With heart felt wishes. For Danuda, the letters are a treasure. A comfort. Memories of a dying friend whose suffering would soon end.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): "The body is our dress. And when it starts to tear, when it no longer gives us any warmth shedding it is a wonderful moment."

GALLAGHER: Three days after Easter, the pope tried to speak to the masses once more.

DZIWISZ (through translator): We even tested it beforehand.

GALLAGHER: Archbishop Dziwisz remembers the pope's rehearsal. And his frustration after his second failed attempt.

DZIWISZ (through translator) I wouldn't have given him the microphone if I didn't think he could speak. But maybe it was the emotion of the moment or God just wanted it that way. When he gave the sign of the cross, it was very moving. And then, nothing.

GALLAGHER: This would be the last time the world would see John Paul.

NAVARRO VALLS: Through his suffering, through his last moments here. He was teaching something. Something very important. This pope who had teach many people around the world how to live, was also teaching those moments how a person can die.

GALLAGHER: The next day, Thursday. Pope John Paul II fell ill one last time.

DZIWISZ: He was dressed for mass. But all of a sudden at the beginning, he started to shiver. I understood immediately after mass that he had a severe infection. And then one thing led to another. And his condition got worse.

GALLAGHER: His temperature shot up to 104 degrees. Doctors inside the Vatican said there was nothing more they could do. The pope was asked if he wanted to return to the hospital. He answered the question with a question.

NAVARRO VALLS: Is there anything in the hospital that can do to me that you cannot perform here? The answer was no, Holy Father. Everything here. There were different doctors. And he decided to remain in his apartment.

ALLEN: Certainly the fact that all of his appointments were canceled. And then it was announced that he was under medical care in the papal apartment and no other hospital was in vision. I think that certainly set off alarm bells.

GALLAGHER: John Paul II was given Last Rites. His friends would soon gather by his bedside.

When we come back, the untold story of their final good-byes.


ZAIN VERJEE, CNN ANCHOR: John Paul is the focus of worldwide prayer ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today from his spokesman, another gloomy medical ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Situation with the pope is still serious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This could be the last night of Pope John Paul II's life.

GALLAGHER: Friday, April 1st. The pope's condition had worsened. As the news spread, so did the concern. From Mexico, to Moscow, Poland to London ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for praying for the holy father ...

GALLAGHER: To Washington, DC. Spontaneous gatherings, prayer vigils. Masses for a dying pope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May the lord who loves him so much give him the strength he needs at this moment in his life, and if it is his will, restore him to us. Or if it is his will, save him from suffering, and bring him home. Amen.

GALLAGHER: For a man who spent so much of his life traveling, the world was now traveling to him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are thousands of people arriving all the time. The crowd here and the world watching those windows up there.

ALLEN: The outpouring of sentiment and concern around the world has been striking.

I was struck by the enormous spirit of prayer. The quiet, I mean it's a very rare situation where you can assemble a million people in one spot and you can have the kind of hushed sobriety and the sense of reverence that you had.

VINCI: The mood was quite somber. I mean you could clearly tell that we were not back to the previous weeks when we were outside of the Gemelli Hospital with crowds coming there. Cheering him, waving flags. That was no longer there.

GALLAGHER: The crowd's attention focused on a window. High above the square. Where the pope had come to greet them so many times. Or just to watch them in secret.

DZIWISZ: At Christmastime at night, when he couldn't walk anymore, we'd bring him to the window to peek at the square below. To see the nativity scene and the crowds without being seen himself.

GALLAGHER: Now, as he lay ill inside, the pope was made aware that once again his people were there.

BOCCARDO (through translator): In his apartment, you could hear the sounds from the square. His secretary was telling him about the crowds below. And that messages were arriving from around the world. We are praying for you. We love you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a man who like no other of his time had a magical connection with these crowds. And I think up to the very end, it was a source of great consolation to him to know that his people were out there.

GALLAGHER: That connection with the crowd inspired some of the last words he spoke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "I have met you around the world. And I realized (ph) here, and I thank you for that."

GALLAGHER: While a vigil was taking place below his window, behind it, another vigil. One we are only learning about now. Archbishop Dziwisz, the pope's private secretary of nearly 40 years had summoned friends and colleague to say their emotional farewells.

DZIWISZ (through translator): It was so moving. Especially for the people who cleaned and took care of the house. These people were crying like little children outside the bedroom. When they came to his bedside, they did not let it show.

FAMIGLIETTI (through translator): The greatest blessing was when Archbishop Dziwisz called me.

GALLAGHER: Long-time friend Mother Tekla was one of those who got the call.

FAMIGLIETTI (through translator): It was 10:00 a.m. on the first of April. He said, Mother Tekla, come say good-bye to the Holy Father.

GALLAGHER: Bishop Boccardo, who coordinated the pope's travels, was there as well.

BOCCARDO: The pope was in bed like any person on the eve of his death. And around him were his doctors and his household staff.

Cardinal the head of Vatican City, also paid his respects.

SZOKA: What ran through my mine is here is a pope, a person that I knew and that I loved very much. And I saw that he was dying. There were three doctors along one side helping him to breathe. And so I went on the other side of the bed. And I knelt down and kissed his hand.

FAMIGLIETTI (through translator): I remember everybody around him praying. And I remember this enormous bible that a priest was reading.

SZOKA: I said to him in polish, Holy Father, the whole world is praying for you.

BOCCARDO: I got on my knees near the bed. I kissed his hand and it was such an emotional moment. So many images came to mind. Words and moments came back to me.

FAMIGLIETTI (through translator): I knelt down and the pope was lying on his right side with his hand under his cheek. He was praying. It's called the prayer of the soul.

SZOKA: His eyes were wide open and he looked right at me. And he nodded to indicate he knew who I was.

FAMIGLIETTI (through translator): His eyes were like two stars. He spoke, but I couldn't understand anything besides, thank you. It's almost like he was saying we will see each other again. It was such a beautiful thing. So joyous.

SZOKA: You know, I've been a priest more than 50 years. And every time when I visit a sick person and I leave him, I give him a blessing. So I got up and without thinking this is the pope, I gave him a blessing. And when I did, he blessed himself. When I left, I thought gee, what did I do? I gave the pope a blessing. I should have asked him to bless me.

FAMIGLIETTI (through translator): I didn't believe he would die because I saw him so alive. He was so focused on what I was saying. And how he looked at me. I just couldn't imagine. How could they say he was going to die? Maybe it was an anticipation of the life beyond that I saw.


GALLAGHER (voice-over): It is now Saturday morning.

(on camera): As you can see. It's dawn now. About seven and a half hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're very worried at the Vatican this morning.

NAVARRO VALLS: The condition of our Holy Father has remained the same.

GALLAGHER: These windows are the focus of the world's attention. Behind them, the pope is living the last few hours of his life.

ALLEN: There is a bed. There is a kind of chest of drawers. There is a place for the pope to kneel to say his prayers. And that's really about it. So a very simple, humble kind of bedroom. And the pope for the last hours of his life was in his bed.

GALLAGHER: Inside the room, those closest to him. Most notably Archbishop Dziwisz, his friend for so many years.

DZIWISZ: He read so much in his life. On his last day, he said, read me the Gospel. The priest read nine chapters from Saint John.

NAVARRO VALLS: On Friday, he remembered it was a Friday. And he used to pray all Fridays of his life the Via Cruces, that is the 14 stations of our Lord with the Cross. And every single time, the story in the gospel. He signed the sign of the cross.

ALLEN: Almost always, rosaries were being said. The litany of the saints were being invoked. Hymns were being sung. Mass, of course was celebrated regularly. And I think it was very quiet and it was very prayerful.

NAVARRO VALLS: There were some moments in which you could see that he was suffering a little bit more. And some of the moments in which he was more at peace. But certainly the sense of serenity. For those days was astonishing. Was tremendous.

GALLAGHER: In St. Peter's Square and around the world, the prayers continued.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He felt them. Because all of his life had had been with the people. He was a pastor, the shepherd of his flock.

GALLAGHER: And then -- Pope John Paul II spoke his final words.

NAVARRO VALLS: He said something like, "Allow me to go to the house of the Father." Meaning, heaven.

GALLAGHER: Afternoon turned into night. On a table next to the pope, a photo of his parents. In the room, a painting of the Virgin Mary. On the wall in front of him, an image of the suffering Christ.

DZIWISZ: He had this idea, we have to celebrate mass. And we did. It was during the last hour of his life. It was a beautiful mass because the reading was from the last supper.

GALLAGHER: A single lit candle was placed in the pope's hand. A polish tradition.

DZIWISZ: here was an altar. He was next to us. I don't know if he followed everything because his eyes were closed. But even in those moments, when it seemed he wasn't conscious I would whisper in his ear, Holy Father, and he would open his eyes. He didn't lose consciousness until the very end.

GALLAGHER: Finally, at 9:37 p.m., Pope John Paul II, surrounded by those who loved him, breathed his last.

DZIWISZ: Death is sad. But his death was beautiful. Because he believes in where he was going, to meet God.

GALLAGHER: For those in the bedroom, it was not a time of grief. Instead, they sang this hymn of thanksgiving.

DZIWISZ: When we saw his heart wasn't beating anymore, we didn't cry. We sang "To Dom Lom Domus (ph)" thanking God for his life, for his accomplishments, and for being able to stay with him until the end.

GALLAGHER: The pope was dead. But only those in his apartment knew. In the square below, Msgr. Renato Boccardo was still leading millions in prayer.

BOCCARDO: At 9:00, we said the rosary.

When we were done, I said, let's continue to pray in silence for the suffering pope. And at midnight, we will meet again.

Then my cell phone rang. It was the deputy of the Vatican secretary of state. Who told me that the pope had just died. He said, try to keep the people there, and I will come down to give the news. We said 10 Hail Maries, and the whole time I was thinking I hope the deputy comes soon. Because otherwise, I don't know who else to do.

And right at the end of the tenth Hail Mary, the deputy, Msgr. Sandri arrived and made the announcement.

ARCHBISHOP LEONARDO SANDRI, VATICAN OFFICIALS: Dear brothers and sisters. At 9:37, our beloved Holy Father John Paul II has returned to his home. Let us pray for him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though we knew what was coming, we felt like orphans. There was this feeling of emptiness. The pope was gone.

SZOKA: This was a great man. Outstanding, perhaps the most outstanding man in the world. And certainly the most outstanding person I've ever known. And it was really sad to think he'd no longer be with us.

FAMIGLIETTI (through translator): On a personal level, there was emptiness. We all felt it, because he was so dear to us. When we speak of the Holy Father, we miss him. But we know that he is always close.

GALLAGHER: One journey had ended. Another was about to begin.


GALLAGHER (voice-over): Behind the scenes of a funeral that moved the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were waiting for him to pass by. And once they slammed those doors, it was utter silence.

GALLAGHER: Inside a conclave, shrouded in secrecy.

SZOKA: We had equipment to check that there was no bugs in any of the rooms.

GALLAGHER: The mystery of the smoke and bells.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When they tried to get white smoke, apparently it backed up. It just filled one end of the chapel.

GALLAGHER: And an unlikely miracle man, investigating whether John Paul is a saint. The last days of Pope John Paul II, the untold stories.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our beloved Holy Father John Paul II has returned to his home.

GALLAGHER: The moment had finally come. Hundreds of thousands gathered in and around St. Peters Square, faced with a new reality. After years of declining health, John Paul II was dead.

DZIWISZ (through translator): I think he felt the crowd's presence. And it gave him courage because he knew he wasn't alone and that he was going to meet God with this huge crowd behind him.

GALLAGHER: Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, the pope's personal secretary, was at the pontiff's side in his final hours.

DZIWISZ (through translator): There were so many cardinals who visited him, the Secretary of State, Cardinal Ratzinger, Cardinal Ruini and others. It was very moving.

GALLAGHER: The archbishop now presided over the body.

FAMIGLIETTI (through translator): His excellency Archbishop Dziwisz called me at 12:45 a.m.

GALLAGHER: Mother Tekla a friend for so many years.

FAMIGLIETTI: He says, "Mother, would you like to come with your sisters to say good-bye to the holy father?" I already knew he was dead. I told him, "I'm coming right away, right away, thank you."

GALLAGHER: To avoid the growing crowds, she entered the Vatican through a private entrance.

FAMIGLIETTI: Once we got there, that's when I really understood that the Holy Father was no longer with us. And it hurt so much.

GALLAGHER: As the vigil continued outside, Mother Tekla and the other nuns prayed over his body through the night.

FAMIGLIETTI: We were like guards watching over a relic. It wasn't easy. I remembered all the times I had shared with him.

GALLAGHER: On Sunday morning, Mother Tekla said her final good- bye.

FAMIGLIETTI: That mass was truly the last sacrifice with him in that small chapel, and perhaps the last time I would see him. It was the most difficult time in my life.

GALLAGHER: This was the first Sunday in almost 27 years that the world was without a Pope.

MCCARRICK: We had all lost a father. We had all lost an extraordinary leader and a dear friend.

GALLAGHER: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is the archbishop of Washington, D.C.

MCCARRICK: I had a great love for this man. He was a holy man, he was a good man, he was a brilliant man.

Let us rise now, dear sisters and brothers.

GALLAGHER: Fulfilling his duties at home, Cardinal McCarrick rushed off to Rome. He arrived Monday morning in time to join the procession that carried the pope's body from the papal apartment to St. Peter's.

MCCARRICK: We were all in our proper order, procession, the cardinals. And his body was being carried in the back. And every once in a while you'd turn around and make sure he was with you. When we arrived in the piazza, people started to shout "viva papa," as if he was still there. And how many times in his life did he enter the great piazza and have people say "viva papa."

GALLAGHER: In death, as in life, John Paul captured the world's attention. An estimated five million people descended on the eternal city, drawn together to see a man they had never met, but all felt they knew. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.

FRANCIS GEORGE, CARDINAL: We would come through that square of St. Peters sometimes late in the afternoon. And you could hear all the languages of the world. There were mostly young people, 20s, 30s, 40s. And you'd ask them, if you could, why are you here? And they would invariably say World Youth Day, that he came to us, you know, in Paris and Toronto and Denver. And so, we're coming to him.

REESE: Just outside my door where I was living, sleeping bags, kids sleeping on the street because there were no hotels. There were nowhere they could stay. And you know, the sidewalks were just -- you had to step over them. The place was so crowded.

GALLAGHER: Anna Wrobel was a student from Krakow, Poland. She and three friends drove more than 30 hours to pay their respects.

ANNA WROBEL, POLISH PILGRIM: I remember that night, we were just singing Polish songs.

And there were many, many Polish people. We called it this Polish night of Rome.

GALLAGHER: He was their Pope, a native son.

WROBEL: All those years because especially us young people, we knew only one Pope. He's been for us. He's been always there in the Vatican. And it was always a Polish Pope.

GALLAGHER: The Pope's hometown of Wadowice chartered a convoy of buses. They carried a piece of home to their departed holy father.

EWA FILIPIAK, MAYOR, POLAND (through translator): It's a Polish custom when a Pole dies abroad, we carried soil from Poland to the grave. So we collected soil from 11 places in Wadowice, places that were connected to Wadowice's life. We put the soil in a box and took it to the Vatican.

GALLAGHER: At St. Peters Basilica, the lines to view the pope's body seem to have no end. Authorities improvised.

ALLEN: The plan, of course, was to close it at a certain point, and then reopen it the next morning. And it became clear that, you know, the volume of people in the streets of Rome simply could not be accommodated if you had these six or eight-hour down periods.

BOCCARDO (through translator): It was a surprise for everyone.

GALLAGHER: Bishop Renato Boccardo worked on logistics. BOCCARDO: The Basilica was opened day and night. We would closed for two hours around 2:00 a.m. only to clean up. But otherwise, it was always open. And there were always people coming to pray.

GALLAGHER: The faithful waited 18 to 20 hours for just the briefest glimpse of the pope.

VINCI: People who reach this point have about another hour to go or so.

I mean, it was incredible. It was like huge amount of people really, you know, in a very uncomfortable situation.

Another several kilometers of lines stretching back towards the left inside and the entire neighborhood surrounding the Vatican.

I mean, you could see old, young, little kids, not a single person crying, not a single person complaining about the lack of water, the lack of food.

GALLAGHER: On Thursday, after four days of viewing, the crowds had to be turned away. The doors of St. Peter's were shut. Still, there would be one last chance to say good-bye.


GALLAGHER: The funeral, April 8, 2005.


DZIWISZ (through translator): It was a funeral, but it was also a joyous celebration. You didn't feel depressed or sad. You knew his life had been lived to the fullest, according to the gospel. His death and his funeral were a message to the church and to the whole world. He wanted it that way.

GREGORY: It was a glorious display of love and affection for this man. It was just an extraordinary expression of gratitude on the part of those who came to the funeral, of respect for this man, of hope in eternal life.

SZOKA: It was a huge crowd. You know, they went all the way down to the Via Del (INAUDIBLE), all the way down to the river, as far as you could see.

There were Jews, there were Muslims, there were Buddhists. It was amazing. I think he's the only person in the world that could have brought together that kind of a group at his funeral, because when he was pope, you know, he received everybody.

GEORGE: John Paul II made the papacy not just of concern for Catholics, but truly, a world office because he tried to speak truth, moral truth, especially, in the midst of the historical anxieties of the end of the 20th century. And that came through. Why else did they come? CHORUS: Hallelujah.

BOCCARDO: We had to welcome all of these people - the thousands and thousands who came to Rome.

GREGORY: One of the problems they had was we had so many heads of states who wanted to come, that we were running out of room.

BOCCARDO: The love of Christ was the dominant force in the life of our beloved holy father. Anyone who ever saw him pray or heard him preach knows that. We can be sure that our beloved pope is standing today at the window of the Father's house, that he sees us and blesses us.


ALLEN: Once you actually got to the mass, it was as if all of that energy, you know, all of that need to grieve and to pray and to quietly reflect, all of that was somehow unleashed in one final round of applause, so to speak, for the amazing gift that these people believed, you know, that John Paul II had been to the church.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a moment of joy because his journey through life was wonderful. He kept the faith. And he was rewarded. It was a triumph.

DZIWISZ: I believe that he left the church and the world his love. How else can you explain that even after his death, all the people came to be with him?


ALLEN: At the very end, of course, the last thing that one saw is the papal gentlemen elevating the coffin, carrying the body of John Paul II, taking it towards the central door in St. Peters, and turning it around, you know, for one final salute to the crowd before they headed in to go down to the grotto for the burial.


GEORGE: We were in. And we were ahead of it, waiting for him to pass by. And so once they slammed those doors, it was utter silence in St. Peter's Basilica. All you could hear was the pallbearers bringing the coffin through.

And we were on either side, about six feet between us, of the long aisle leading up to the altar, because they had to bring the body down to the crypt, where it was to be buried.

And there was no music. There was no sound. We just watched him pass for the last time.

When cardinals greet the pope, they always take off their takero (ph), their red skull cap in - you know, out of respect. And you put it back on to talk to him.

And as quite spontaneously, one by one, as he went by, we each took off our takeros (ph) and they took him down.

He was a great man.


GALLAGHER: Pope John Paul was laid to rest in a modest tomb in the crypt of St. Peter's. The Vatican was now at a crossroads. For the first time in nearly 27 years, the Roman Catholic Church was leaderless.

SZOKA: It's only when the pope dies that in a sense, we all die with him. For all the cardinals, we lose our job when the pope dies.

REESE: The Vatican continues to function somewhat. I mean, the employees get their paychecks. But on the other hand, no major decisions can be made while the pope - during the interregnum.

GALLAGHER: The interregnum, Latin for between the reigns. The time between the death of one pope and the election of another. Pope John Paul II was gone. But who would take his place?

Cardinals from around the world traveled to Rome to convene the conclave, the solemn ritual that selects the new pope. It's a ceremony steeped in secrecy. Their task, to find a man who could fill the very large void left by John Paul II.

ALLEN: In the post John Paul era, we expect our popes to be multilingual. We expect them to have a deep intellectual sense of cultural currents. We expect them to have something to say on every political, social, human theme of interest.

GALLAGHER: Each morning, the cardinals would meet to discuss church business and what a new pope would face.

GEORGE: One of us was going to have that role. And so we all spoke about the problems of the respective churches that we headed.

GALLAGHER: But later, other discussions would take place about who that man should be.

BELLITTO: The first question is, are these guys politicking? Absolutely yes. And they will absolutely deny it because they're human beings. And people politic. The wheeling and the dealing does not take place in the Sistine Chapel. It takes place over espresso and (INAUDIBLE) at 11:00 at night.

GALLAGHER (on camera): So when does the actual discussion go on about who should be the man, because obviously at the end of the day, you have to choose one person?

MCCARRICK: That's - well, that's all in the informal gatherings that go on. Certainly the cardinals and bishops would talk to each other, and say "what do you think of somebody, what do you think of this one?"

GREGORY: With the marvels of modern communication, speculation that was whispered in the halls in Rome was on the evening news that same day.

ALLEN: From April 8th to April 19th, you know, there was only one story in the world anyone was interested in, which is, who's the pope going to be?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who could be the next pope.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The question is whether the next pope...

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Decide who is the next pope.

GALLAGHER: Among the emerging candidates, a cardinal from Africa, Francis Arinze of Nigeria.

BELLITTO: You know, there was a lot of talk about Arinze. And Arinze would have been really the first sub-Saharan pope.

ALLEN: I think there were some cardinals who found the idea of a pope out of the developing world attractive. But while the pope has to think about the whole world, of course, the - you know, the real crisis of the moment that the church was facing was not in Africa, where Catholicism's exploding. It's in their own backyard in Europe.

GALLAGHER: From Belgium, Cardinal Godfried Danneels. From Italy, Cardinals Tettamanzi and Ruini. From Argentina, there was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, all papblia (ph), Italian for men who could become pope.

But ever present, Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany, perhaps the most powerful figure in the Vatican. A close confidant of Pope John Paul II for more than 20 years. The 77-year-old cardinal led the mass at John Paul II's funeral and revealed a softer side to his colleagues and crowds.

ALLEN: His ability to even, you know, personal touches, you know, talking about, you know, John Paul looking down on the crowd from the window of the father's house and so on, and the fact that Ratzinger himself actually teared up at a couple moments, all of that showed many of the cardinals who might have had some reservations about Ratzinger's capacity to play on the public stage in front of crowds like that, I think those performances went a long way to resolving them.

GALLAGHER: Joseph Ratzinger was also dean of the College of Cardinals and presided over all meetings leading up to the conclave.

REESE: What was interesting was the way Cardinal Ratzinger used his position as dean. He knew every cardinal. And so when they wanted to speak, he could, you know, call them by name. He also was able to respond to them in their own language.

MCCARRICK: We found him during the general congregations to be a very humble man, very gracious man, very gentle, very good natured.

GALLAGHER: Support for Ratzinger was gaining momentum. ALLEN: There has been a small group of cardinals who were absolutely convinced that Joseph Ratzinger was the right choice to be the next pope.

GALLAGHER: On Sunday, April 17th, 2005, 115 cardinals from around the world were sequestered. Their mission, to elect a new pope.

When we come back, secrets of the conclave revealed.


GALLAGHER: Monday, April 18, 2005. The conclave, a centuries' old mystery, was about to begin. The cardinals' rooms and the Sistine Chapel where they would vote, were checked to ensure absolute secrecy.

SZOKA: And as each room was checked, our police sealed it. And so like when I got to my room, there was a seal there that I had to break to get in.

GALLAGHER: The secret proceedings began with an oath, each pledging their solemn duty.

SZOKA: We each had to go in there up to the bible and swear through the secrecy and so forth. With each ballot, when you wrote the name, you went up in order up to the altar.

MCCARRICK: Behind the altar is the wonderful painting of the Last Judgment.

GEORGE: You're standing with the ballot in your hand, folded, looking at that fresco by Michelangelo. And you're swearing an oath in Latin before Jesus Christ will be my judge, I swear and avow, and I'm voting for my judge to be the best suited.

It's very serious enterprise. You put your salvation on the line with that oath.

MCCARRICK: That's the scary part of it, that you -- because when you see it that way, it's not so much an election. It's discernment. You're trying to discern who God wants.

GALLAGHER: Outside, there was speculation. Who would it be? How long would it take? After two days of voting, just four ballots, the cardinals picked their man. Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope.

GEORGE: He certainly didn't seek it, that's for sure. Who would, in his right mind?

GALLAGHER (on camera): And he seemed calm, anxious, frightened?

GEORGE: No, he seemed calm. He seemed calm. There was -- there's a deep humility by him. And that's humility which gives calm.

ALLEN: I think the shockingly simple answer is that they felt they had to elect a pope who would not be crushed by the weight of comparison to John Paul II. And they felt Joseph Ratzinger was that man.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): The world was still watching and waiting for white smoke, the ancient sign that a new pope has been elected. But inside, there was trouble getting the word out.

GEORGE: This ancient story, they haul in for this occasion. I mean, I don't know where it comes from. Somehow or other, they didn't have things connected exactly right.

When they try to get white smoke, apparently, it backed up. I know it backed up, I was there. It just fills one end of the chapel.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: We are seeing smoke at the top of the Sistine Chapel...

GALLAGHER: And when the smoke finally began to rise, there was confusion outside.

NGUYEN: That might be black smoke. It started out a little white.

VINCI: The smoke looked white, although it wasn't completely white. But I couldn't call it the end of the conclave because the bells were not tolling.

GALLAGHER: It was the wish of John Paul II that the bells of St. Peters would ring upon news of the new pope. But here again, there was a problem.

BOCCARDO: After the pope was elected, everyone was coming up to congratulate him in the Sistine Chapel. In the confusion, there was a lack of coordination about ringing the bells.

GALLAGHER: And in that confusion, an official in the conclave realized he still had the keys to set off the bells.

ALLEN: He was supposed to go out and hand them to someone who was supposed to do it. And so, he had to sort of rush out and, you know, scuttle off and give them to the person to, you know, to crank up the system.

VINCI: I was waiting for that bell. And I remember this - they must have been the 14 longest minutes ever in my Vatican television career. And then eventually, we saw it moving. And that's when St. Peter's Square exploded. It was an explosion of joy. It was unbelievable.

GALLAGHER: Finally, a new pope. Benedict XVI stepped out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

MCCARRICK: I think those of us who knew Cardinal Ratzinger and knew this was a strong and holy man, I think we all felt and I felt the church is in good hands.

GEORGE: There was a sense of relief, a sense that we had done it as best we could. We had prayed. We had thought it through. We had elected someone who was prepared -- best prepared, we felt, to take it. It's a very tough job. And he knew that and accepted it anyway.

GALLAGHER: On Tuesday, April 19th, Pope Benedict XVI greeted his flock. It was a chilly night. And as the pope raised his arms, he revealed a practical side.

MCCARRICK: Everyone knows that we wear - conclave, we wear the red cassick (ph). So where was that black sleeve? Well, that was a sweater that he put on. I think it indicated that this man is going to be prudent, is going to be thoughtful, is going to be careful.

GEORGE: The present pope has a deep sense of obligation to John Paul II and wants to see that enormous legacy continued. He's not out to, you know, make a big mark for himself or stamp something with his own vision. The most important is the vision of Christ. And he's very observant of that. So I think John Paul II would be very pleased.

GALLAGHER: That evening, the cardinals joined the new pope over dinner, a celebration with an added surprise.

GEORGE: They added ice cream and a little champagne or, you know, Asti Spumante. And we toasted the holy father. And it was a nice quiet, a sense of relief and accomplishment and gratitude.

GALLAGHER: Their work was now over, but a secret investigation was about to begin.


GALLAGHER: It was a spontaneous outpouring. Jubilant crowds at the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Chants and banners calling for sainthood now.

BOCCARDO: Yes, people love the pope. And from the first moments after his death considered him an example of Christian life.

GALLAGHER: Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins oversees the sainthood process for the Catholic Church.

Last year in this piazza, we saw all of the people coming with these signs "santo subito." What was your impression?

JOSE SARAIVA MARTINS, CARDINAL (through translator): I was so impressed because it is always the faithful, the people of God who tell their priest who they think should be a saint.

GALLAGHER: Have you ever seen such an outpouring of the will of the people?

MARTIN: Well, after people express their opinion, the church has to prove it through an investigation on both a local and Vatican level.

This is him coming off of the helicopter. That's great.

GALLAGHER: The job approving Pope John Paul II as saint starts here, in an unlikely place, an unassuming Vatican office. Not the CSI type of operation you might imagine for the considerable task of proving miracles.

SLAWOMIR ODER, MONSIGNOR (through translator): Right now, I'd have to say this is definitely the adventure of a lifetime.

GALLAGHER: So this is your office.

Monsignor Slawomir Oder gather letters and testimonials for John Paul's cause, that is when he's not doing his day job, handling marriage annulments.

ODER: Sometimes I'm busy with John Paul's beatification. And other times, I have to focus on marriage annulments, but now I have to pay more attention to John Paul.

GALLAGHER: The process begins with letters, reading stacks of letters. Some mailed. Others left at the late pontiff's tomb.

(on camera): I want to be good and I'd like to become pope myself.

ODER: To be an angel to protect everybody like you.

These are prayer cards that we send in response to people's letters in different languages. German, French, English, Polish and in Italian. They are beautiful. They are very moving, stories from teens and young children. They are very beautiful.

We receive many testimonials, but not all can be considered true miracles. We also receive letters from those who are opposed to John Paul becoming a saint.

GALLAGHER: Interesting. You are not paid for this work?


GALLAGHER: The process usually begins after a five year waiting period. But Pope Benedict XVI waived that rule for his predecessor, John Paul II.

Something that had only been done once before, by John Paul for Mother Theresa.

You think it will be any way what they call fast track?

RUINI: I think so. I hope so. I hope so.

GALLAGHER: Because you are sure that this man is a saint?

RUINI: Yes, personally, I'm sure. Personally, I'm sure.

GALLAGHER: One miracle is needed for beatification, the first step towards sainthood.

ODER: We knew of many people who were helped by the prayers of John Paul II when he was living. But for beatification, the miracle has to occur after death.

What doesn't count as a miracle? Things like conversions, freedom from vices, peace in the family, getting a new job. These are blessings, but for our purposes they are not miracles.

GALLAGHER: Monsignor Oder found one story worth investigating. It occurred exactly two months after Pope John Paul's death. The case involves a French nun, who suffered from the same disease that afflicted Pope John Paul II.

ODER: She was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. After praying to John Paul II, her symptoms completely disappeared. It's a very interesting case and one that is under consideration. It's being analyzed by doctors, who can't explain it.

GALLAGHER: If the miracle is approved, the pope will be beatified.

ODER: The miracle is God's seal of approval for sainthood. He says this is the right choice.

GALLAGHER: Then, a second miracle must be proven to elevate John Paul to sainthood. John Paul II canonized 482 saints and beatified nearly 1,400. That's more than all his predecessors combined.

ALLEN: There were always people in the Vatican and in other circles of Catholic life who were made a little uncomfortable by that, who thought this was all about kind of show boating, and that, you know, the Vatican had in effect become a saint-making factory, which had cheapened, you know, the value of each individual halo.

And I think the pope's instinct was to say, no, that holiness is something achievable in the here and now and by ordinary men and women.

BOCCARDO: The church creates saints to give believers examples of a Christian life. I mean, John Paul II was a person who certainly left his mark.

GALLAGHER: What do you think John Paul II would have thought of people praying to him and becoming a saint?

SZOKA: Well, I don't think he would have -- he's not the type of person that would have thought of that, you know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A person who is really holy thinks about anything, but becoming a saint. That would show a lack of humility.

SZOKA: I've met a lot of people in my years as a priest. And I'll be a priest 52 years in June, but he is the holiest person I have ever met in my life.

GALLAGHER: For now, it's up to this man, Monsignor Oder, who continues to toil away in his makeshift office in search of proof.

ODER: I am convinced of his sainthood, but that's my opinion. It is the law of the church that determines if he is a saint.


GALLAGHER: It has been a year since his death, but the echoes of Pope John Paul II still reverberate.

ALLEN: He had been able to elevate this office into the most important interpreter of the depths of the human heart on the global stage. It was a magnificent, magnificent story to watch.

GREGORY: He spoke about and taught and practiced the unity of the human race, the dignity of the individual human person. He proclaimed with great and constant dignity and determination the gospel of Jesus Christ. I think he did all of those things. And I think he did them extraordinarily well.

GALLAGHER: Within the Catholic Church, the pope's legacy can be measured in sheer numbers. 27 years' worth of bishops, archbishops, cardinals, a generation of leaders appointed by John Paul, who now run the church.

REESE: Their average age is probably somewhere around 65 years of age. So these men are going to be in office for another 10 or so years. And they're going to continue to have an impact on the church.

GALLAGHER: So, too, will the young people. Generation John Paul.

GREGORY: For so many Catholics, especially the 30 year and under, he was the only pope that they knew.

BOCCARDO: I think that this was the secret of his success. He appealed, most of all, to young souls that are, by their very nature, generous, idealistic and capable of dreaming.

WROBEL: Somebody can rely on the innocence that his words are always the same. And he didn't change, never.

GALLAGHER: At the Vatican, his grave has become a place of pilgrimage. Crowds, young and old, day after day.

SZOKA: The number of people visiting that tomb is amazing. Last I hear, it was still about 15,000 a day visiting his grave.

GALLAGHER: They come here as well, to his hometown of Wadowice in Poland. His former house is now a museum. The church where he was baptized, a shrine.

FILIPIAK: We still feel his presence here. It's ironic. We now have more visits now than before his death. It shows how much people need John Paul II and his teachings.

DZIWISZ: How do you explain that even after his death, people still come to him? They're showing him their love, giving back the love he showed to them.

SZOKA: I pray for him, certainly, although I have no doubt he went straight to heaven. And I pray to him now.

GALLAGHER: For those who knew him best, John Paul remains a vibrant figure, someone they still talk with and pray to.

FAMIGLIETTI: I have great conversations with him. I talk to him as you would talk to Jesus, or the Madonna, or the saints. It isn't difficult.

GALLAGHER: Do you pray to him?

RUINI: Yes, I pray.

GALLAGHER: To the pope?

RUINI: To the pope, yes, every day. His death was, for me, a big loss. But also, I think another way, a beginning because we have a tutor in heaven.

DZIWISZ: The people welcomed me here with great love and kindness. I'm able to benefit from the same love they felt for John Paul II.

GALLAGHER: For the man who was closest to John Paul II, every day is a reminder of his life long friend. Stanislaw Dziwisz has come full circle, the former assistant back in Krakow, now a cardinal himself.

DZIWISZ: Imagine, I left Krakow with Karol (INAUDIBLE). I lived with him there in Rome for 27 years. And now I have come back alone.

But if I'm here, it's also because of John Paul II. I feel protected by him. He took me by the hand and spiritually led me here. I left with him. And now I've come back with him.

POPE BENEDICT XVI (through translator): The death of the holy father, John Paul II, and the days that followed, have been an extraordinary period of grace for the church and the whole world.

I seem to feel his strong hand clasping mine. I seem to see his smiling eyes and hear his words at this moment addressed specifically to me -- do not be afraid.




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