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Bishops share memories of John Paul II
With just days to go before his beatification, many prelates feel the late pope is a saint alreadyThe shrine being built for John Paul II in the former refugee camp in Bataan province
- Julian Labores, Manila
- April 28, 2011
Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi of Caceres said he had talked with John Paul several times, and even had breakfast and lunch with him.
â€śHe was very paternalistic in my regard and very charismatic,â€ť Archbishop Legaspi said.
Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro said Pope John Paul II became a pioneer in interreligious dialogue when he began the worldwide prayer for peace during the feast of St. Francis of Assisi in 1986.
Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa described the late pontiff as â€śa great prophetâ€ť who has a special place in his heart.
Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz described Pope John Paul II as â€śa saint already.â€ť
Bishop Martin Jumoad of Isabela, Basilan,Â recalled meeting the late pontiff in September 2002 when new bishops from all over the world had an audience with him at the Vatican.
â€śDuring the picture taking, I touched his shoulder and he just looked at me and smiled,â€ť he said.
He added that the experience was â€śheavenâ€ť for him. He vividly remembers the pontiff as very accommodating and was a good listener.â€ť
Bishop Manolo de los Santos of Virac said the most remarkable asset Pope John Paul II had was his charisma -- even among non-Catholics.
He also praised the late pontiff for his genuine concern for the young.