It is always amazing how one person can affect a person's life. People have opportunities in this life to affect people in any manner they choose. There are many people who choose to affect people in positive ways and play a huge part in the world's humanity.
As the world mourns the death of Pope John Paul II, we begin to realize that he had a profound effect on humanity. Everyone knows who he was and how his life's work affected all of humanity.
For one Cherokee couple, the Pope has had a profound affect. Devout Catholics, DuWayne and Ethel Rupp have had a double blessing. The first came when their son, David Rupp, joined the priesthood. With that came not only a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Rome, but the chance to meet Pope John Paul II in person.
In 2000, the Rupps traveled to Rome with their son Father David Rupp and their sister-in-law Cele Rupp. They were invited to the Pope's private Mass which took place in his private chapel. Arrangements for the family to attend the Mass were made by Bishop Kenneth Angell of Burlington, Utah.
"It was quite a thrill to enter the chapel and see the Holy Father waiting for us." stated DuWayne Rupp. The small chapel holds 34 people and the Pope gave Mass in both English and Latin.
The Rupps then had the opportunity to meet with the Pope in the lobby after Mass and each was given a rosary. When the Pope greeted them he asked where they were from. When they replied that they were from America, he asked which state and when they told him Iowa, he wanted know if they were from Des Moines. The Pope was familiar with Des Moines after appearing there at Living History Farms many years before.
On that Sunday the family also had the opportunity to attend mass in St. Peter's Square for Dedication of Blessed (future saints) from several nations. There were over 10,000 people in attendance and they were given booklets that allowed them to follow along during the Mass. He performed the Mass in several languages, including English.
The Rupp family loved visiting Rome and encourages anyone having the chance to go, to do so, "even if you are not a Christian, go and enjoy the beautiful city and see the architecture," recommended DuWayne Rupp.
Rupp also remarks about the Pope, saying, "He will be remembered forever in history for the many things he did to bring freedom to the people behind the "Iron Curtain. He was not only a great Christian leader, he was a great statesman."