During public ceremonies, Pope John Paul put people at their ease, often with a sense of humor. When he held hands and danced onstage with young people in Australia in 1986, one of the girls began to cry. The smiling pope hugged her and said simply, “Don’t worry.”
Carl Anderson, the supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, was impressed with the way Pope John Paul patiently greeted the sick and disabled at his public events, chatting with them one by one and blessing them. He was not going through the motions; he was interested in them.
“These were small actions that were not necessary and not expected. It was something he was doing that was different, personal and made that person feel very special with the encounter,” Anderson said.