John XXIII (1881-1963) — known as Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, was one of 13 children born into a family of Italian peasants, farmers from a tiny village in the country’s north, before being sent away to study for the priesthood at the age of 11.
*On his deathbed he said: “It is not that the gospel has changed; it is that we have begun to understand it better. Those who have lived as long as I have…were enabled to compare different cultures and traditions, and know that the moment has come to discern the signs of the times, to seize the opportunity and to look far ahead.” http://www.americancatholic.org/messenger/Sep2000/feature1.asp
John Paul II (1920-2005), born Karol Jozef Wojtyla, was brought up in a grimy industrial town in Poland and raised by his soldier father after his mother died when he was just eight. He spent his formative years living under first Nazis, then Communists.
“As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and
overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness, and fear, the
Risen Lord offers His love that pardons, reconciles, and reopens
hearts to love. It is love that converts hearts and gives peace.
How much the world needs to understand and accept
* Pope John Paul II traveled over 698,310 miles, which is 28 times around the earth or 3 times the distance between the earth and moon. http://origin.ewtn.com/JohnPaul2/life/facts.htm