As Pope John Paul II passed through Rome one day in 1988, greeting people as he went, a Polish teenager managed to thrust her hand through the cheering crowd pressed against the barricades. Improbably — unforgettably — the pontiff shook it.
“I will never forget the lightness of his hand,” said Joanna Bereaud, now a 42-year-old music therapist who lives in Swampscott.
A quarter-century earlier, Pope John XXIII had a spot alongside President Kennedy in Mary Jane England’s gallery of heroes. The future doctor and Regis College president, then in her early 20s, saw Pope John as a reformer who breathed new life into a stagnant church.Details