Hundreds of readers from across Europe have sent us their reaction to the death of Pope John Paul II, who died on Saturday aged 84.
Here is a selection of their comments.
The following comments reflect the balance of views received:
John Paul II has been an exemplary religious world leader. He has travelled more than 1 million kms on trips around the world, visited over 690 cities and always inspired peace and forgiveness. There is so much the world has to learn from this man's life, especially those who are currently ruling it. Thank you for all the good that you have done Pope John Paul II. RIP
Martin B, Catalonia, Spain
Undoubtedly this Pope was a great man and he was a key figure in the history of the 20th century - rightly deserving the tributes of all the world. Now we enter a new era and I hope that Catholics will help grow the image of the next Pope, understanding that he is a man after all, and that great personalities are not made every day. No matter what, Karol Wojtila was special and will be with us and in our memories forever.
Enrique Guzzetti, Bergamo, Italy
I am as agnostic as one can be, but death of dear John Paul II really hit me hard. Religious people would probably say that is a sign of my soul searching for God. I would say it is a sign of being able to see that this Pope was special, kind, great and one of a kind human being. Sleep in peace dear Papa.
Russia mourns, too. I hope our churches will unite, because it was Pope John Paul II who showed that religion should unite people, not separate them.
We have lost a great man, a human rights fighter that built bridges between religions. I just wish he could have done more for women and approving contraception.
Swedish, London, England
We lost a truly wonderful and unique human being. I find it difficult to come to terms with his death, however I found a quote which helps me to cope with this loss. "Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence." (John Paul II). Rest in Peace Papa. You will never be forgotten.
The pope was an inspiration to all Catholics and non-Catholics around the world, to give him the title of Pope John Paul the Great would be the last great piece of respect that we could show the late pontiff. We have lost a great leader in the catholic faith, and he is with our holy father watching over us all, as in his life as it is now in death, God rest his soul
Claire Wilson, England, UK
He was the only pope I have ever known. I remember gazing up at his picture when I was at school and listening to his words on a tape recorder in church and understanding even then that this was a truly great man. It's hard to imagine the world without him.
As a Muslim I have always had a great admiration for Pope John Paul II. This great man insisted on the local authority of Rome City Council to allow Muslims to build their mosque next to the centre of Christianity. Pope John Paul II courage and solid conviction is an example to us all. May God Rest his soul in peace.
Suhaib Ahmed, UK)
His arms were always outstretched to people or raised in blessing. He offered his suffering up for all as he also gave his life in service and love. I feel he can help us all - he has shown us the way. Something tells me he was a saint.
June McCarthy, England
Although not a Roman Catholic I would like to send my condolences to a grieving religion who has lost a great leader. He was someone who inspired thousands of people all around the world. May God protect and love him now he has joined his master.
Jenni Tweedale, England
A truly great man of inspiration.
Gerard Mc Cavana, Belfast, Ireland
Here is man who gave is entire life in true humility to the service of his God and to his fellow men and women. He is a true hero, sacrificing so much and never failing to meet the high standards that he set for himself and his church. Although this is a sad moment it is also an opportunity to celebrate the life of a truly heroic figure who can be an inspiration to all peace loving religious communities the world over.
David, Bracknell, UK
Pope John Paul was a wonderful man, he touched me and all my family. May he rest in peace and I hope his message to us although sometimes difficult, was understood.
Nuala Hof, Germany
You were, you are and you will be our favourite Holy Father. We miss you a lot. Pray for us from heaven.
Jacob I Witek, Poland
We, the staff of the Diocesan Offices in the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh wish to send our sincere condolences on the death of Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II.
Molly Wade, Scotland
I'm sure He is nearer to God now and will protect us from there. Guide your successor so he will follow your example and continue what you started.
Richard Mallia, Malta
We would like to thank Pope John Paul II for all of the outstanding work he has done for the world.
Ryan and Marc, England
We will never see the likes of him again, he truly was a Flower of Scotland, he will always be in our hearts, Rest in Peace.
Pope John Paul II was like father to all the world. We love him very much.
The Great Pope John Paul II has made endurance an important prerequisite for the incoming successor. He was so energetic and active, and his mountain of work is reflected by the respect that is being shown by people from different religions. May the Holy Spirit enlighten the church to choose a strong shepherd. The church needs people like Pope John Paul II. Today's world needs such energy.
Tonio Azzopardi, Malta
The day Pope died there was a football match in Poland. There was 15 thousands of people there and the all of a sudden one man came and stopped that match saying that Pope had just died. All the people gathered there started crying and many of them were young hooligans. This shows how important a person he was for us all and how much we loved him. We will always love you, Pope!
Malgodzata Mickiewicz, Poland
The Pope was more than a religious leader. He was a champion for freedom all over the world. By helping free Poland he strengthened democracy for all of us. He was truly a man of the people.
With John Paul II ends the era of men of great personal courage and moral values. Their generation was shattered during wars and years of totalitarianism but finally they manage to prevail and gave us back our freedom.
Pope John Paul II gave the Church back a sense of credibility that even those who are not Roman Catholics came to respect.
Cristina Felipez, England
I have no words. You are a saint. Thank you for leading us, thank you for making this world a better place. You were and are the greatest inspiration our world could have. We will never forget you. May your words find open hearts. God bless you.
I was born in 1978. He was MY Pope, he followed my whole life.
While there were certainly elements of Pope JP that we should respect and admire. His views on contraception and the use of condoms in Africa were not nothing short of disgraceful, clinically misleading, and mindless. His statements have led to the deaths of potentially thousands of Africans from HIV/AIDS who lived by his words, and now they die with them from a premature death as a result of the bigotry of the Church. For this reason I cannot and will not mourn this individual passing.
I am watching on TV the mass and in the same time I can see a woman outside through my window sowing her garden. Pope John Paul II did both: he brought the God into many houses, sowing his words deep in our hearts. Thank you, and may you rest in peace!
Ioana Daian, Romania
I am a Muslim, yet I feel deeply saddened about the death of the Pope. I feel he was genuinely a kind-hearted man who aimed to unite all regardless of colour, faith, etc. I deeply admire his devotion to his religion. He seemed to be such a gentle and approachable man. He has left behind a lot of good memories and made amazing changes to many people's lives. I pray to Allah that he receives his well-earned rewards for the good he has done!
I remember the Pope visiting the UK in 1982 and he flew into our parish in Horley and some of us were invited to greet him at Gatwick. His goodness and piety shone from such a distance. His passing is sad and I am sure it is no coincidence that it happened at Easter time... a very important time of year to us. He was a good man and truly represented Heaven on Earth and was a spiritual leader to us all. May his life of goodness continue. Catherine
Catherine Redstone, England
I'm a 16-year-old protestant from Iceland. I have to admit that I cried when John Paul II died. I'm not Catholic but I still adored him like I'd always known him. I'm still crying and I just wish I had met him and been able to tell him how much he meant to me.
Karen Dögg, Iceland
George Bush was right for once when he said the world had lost one of its greatest champions of freedom. Everyone can recognise his significance, regardless of their religious or political beliefs. He will be missed.
Malta grieves over the death of Pope John Paul ll. The St Paul's island was privileged enough to have the pontiff visiting a couple of times. He was respected by different religious denominations and will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace.
Anne Marie, Malta
Even though the Great Father ended his earthly life, he is still with us. He is guiding us. He is in our hearts and always will be. He is watching us and we have to prove that his life, teaching and suffering had a purpose. I hope we will manage to continue what he began and to what he devoted all his life. Let Him enjoy his reward and happiness in heaven. This is what he looked for all His life. What he did was done in the name of God and being near to Him after life. Totus tuus!(Those who can, please put lit candles in your windows)
I certainly did not agree with the late Pope on issues like homosexuality and women clergy. I did and do most definitely respect his honest and deep faith and expression of it. As a Lutheran I appreciate very much the constant dialogue this Pope maintained with the other Churches and religions. John Paul was many things, but he was always consistent, never hypocritical, a rare commodity in our time.
Jo Jan Vandenheede, Belgium
Pope John II was a good Spiritual Leader and was understanding and tolerant towards other Faiths. He contributed to peace and justice throughout the World.
Tom Costello, Ireland
Thank You Holy Father for your guidance and support. I love You with all my heart
Agnieszka Lutak, Poland
If I told you about a man that by his twenties had lost all his relatives, who has been suffering from Parkinson's disease and possibly a tumour, a man who had been close to death, having been shot close to his heart. If I told you about a bricklayer who, helped by his colleague, in his spare time studied on theological books. If I spoke to you about a man that secretly, during the war, hiding from the Nazis, bravely played as an actor and was also a writer and a poet. If I added that he had loved laughing and chatting with people. That he had skied, trekked, played football and swim with immense passion. If I showed you a man who enjoyed so much cuddling and playing with children. If spoke to you of a man who fought for everybody's freedom, justice and peace. A man who condemned poverty, mafia as well as sinners with the same stubbornness. A man who danced and waved to music in front of the cameras and of a million audiences. If I say to you that this man helped to bring down the Berlin Wall and many communist regimes without human losses. If I spoke to you about a man who fought for human rights and dignity. If I told you that this man also found the time for being a good priest and an excellent Pope, would you believe it ?
Mic, Rome Italy
Your favourite club - Cracovia - will never forget you. We will think about you every day. Thank you for everything.
Przemek, Krakow, Poland
For me, like for many other Poles, the death of Pope is like losing a father. A spiritual father who guided us and gave us hope for the future. What we should do is to carry on his work each day!
Holy Father, your Father in heaven welcomes you with open arms. Thank you for everything you have done for all peoples of the world. I say Alleluia though I am sad for I also rejoice, for you now gaze upon Him whom you served so faithfully throughout your life.
Rhys Williams, UK
As a Catholic, I welcome the opportunity for the church to bring a breath of fresh air into the church. This pope was an arch-conservative who wants Catholics to live in the 1950's. I believe that John Paul II did everything in his power to reverse Vatican II. The next leader will need to find a way to speak to European Catholics. Except for brief spasms of worship (like today), Europeans find the Pope and the Catholic more or less irrelevant in their lives.
John Norman, UK
The beating heart of a holy man full of loving service to the Roman Catholic Church and to all humanity has stopped. The sunset of his life, filled with personal intense pain, courage, love, inspiration, prayer and holiness has ended. The candle of the life of a man of faith has been extinguished. The voice for the poor, the oppressed, the unborn, the valueless in the eyes of the world, is silent.
The door of the house of earthly life has closed and the door of the heavenly Jerusalem has been opened. The providential Hand of God, that guided him in life, has lifted him to life everlasting. I pray that he lives in the presence of God, and has joined the community of saints with Mary as Queen. I lost a spiritual father, a friend, an inspiration. The Lord has granted us another heavenly intercessor. May he and all the dead rest in peace. May he pray for us as we pray for him.
Rev. Laurence J. Spiteri, Vatican City
Pope John Paul II is to the third millennium, what St. Augustine and St. Aquinas were for the first and second millennia of Christianity, great beacons of light, giants of their time, who will continue to shape the Church for centuries to come. It is a shame so many rejected his light.
Mel Cormican, Ireland
I remember when I was in Germany in 1996. He was there on a visit to the German town of Paderborn before he travelled to Berlin to beatify two priests who perished in concentration camps in WWII. During this particular visit, I stood on the side of the road where is Popemobile was to pass and found myself just 2 metres from him. Twice in 2 successive days. This must have been the most memorable moment in my life and I will never forget this.
May God and Jesus accept this angel into their Kingdom today. Rest In Peace!
Even non-believers and atheists with any political savvy have to accept that Karol Wojtyla did more than almost anybody, with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan(with whom he closely coooperated to assure survival of Solidarity during the martial law in Poland)to precipitate collapse of the Soviet empire. He did it by simply
assuring communist oppositionists in Eastern Europe that their seemingly hopeless struggle is not hopeless at all for Evil can and will be defeated.
Mirek Kondracki, Poland
It is a sad time for the passing of Pope John Paul II. A truly great man has returned home to God. I believe he has achieved something truly remarkable in so far as the entire planet feels the loss, regardless if they are Christian or not, or even if they believe in God or not. That kind of affect doesn't happen very often and it is something to cherish and to remember, and hopefully each of us will carry a small piece of that memory in times of strife and discontent to come. Rest in peace John Paul II.
Rest in peace Holy Father. So happy to have seen you in Ireland and Lourdes, you have been part of my life since childhood. We will never forget you. Forever in our hearts.
Tracey McGowan, Northern Ireland
I'm not a Catholic but id just like to say I'm so very moved by the pope and how he gave the Catholics the a good role model. I've seen him once and I was deeply touched by what he had to say.
Caitlin, Cardiff Wales
Our great Holy Father is not among us anymore. It hurts too much and I think actually no one can be prepared for this loss - loss in our hearts and souls. I feel as an orphan, being without our great Polish Pope - Father of all nations, without our greatest religious guide. God, bless our Holy Father who now lives in your peaceful Kingdom.
Kasia W., Poland
"Young people... Do not be afraid to be the saints of the new millennium!" I'll never forget this message, delivered on World Youth Day 2000, by one of the greatest conqueror of fear of our time. To love, peace and justice, he never had any reserve. May he rest in peace.
The world mourns the loss of a great icon your words and memories have touched the hearts of millions and your legacy will never be distinguished from our hearts.
He was our Pope, the Pope of the people. We should not forget about what he has done for us and what he wanted us to be. He will always be in our hearts as an embodiment of immortal love, peace and faith.
Dawid Choloniewski, Poland
He was a great Christian, a great Pope but overall a great Man. Hard to replace.
Rosario La Mendola, Italy
Pope's John Paul II visit to Romania a few years ago was a tremendous sign of hope for all those who believe that God's Church should be one. In these moments of prayer but also celebration of his life and his work it maybe more than ever evident that people of different religious denominations, or even without one, can come together in peace and brotherhood. Thank you for being an immense source of strength for all those seeking their path in faith. May God receive your soul in eternal peace.
We lost the greatest and the most courageous person in the history. We lost the person who helped Poland to break away from the pressure of the Communism, let it be your will. Rest in Peace our beloved Holy Father.
Anna and Pawel, Poland
In your life time, Holy Father, you are a symbol of love, hope to the downtrodden, the needy. You have devoted your life to the works of our heavenly father. In life you have given inspiration to the oppressed to get their freedom. In death, you are now united with our lord Jesus Christ, who died, so that we can have a better world and life. May your soul rest in eternal peace in Jesus mighty Name. May you be a symbol of unity & hope for posterity, Amen
Martin Stephen, Britain
As a Jew I will always be grateful to John Paul II for protecting Jewish children from conversion during the Nazi occupation of Poland when he was a priest in Krakow. He told those who wanted to adopt orphaned Jewish children and bring them up as Catholics that this was wrong and after the war they should be returned to their communities. This was moral virtue of the highest order. He also played football as youngster in goal for an all Jewish team, he being the only gentile. Despite some recent disagreements about his choices for canonization, he is widely respected by Jews throughout the world.
Pope John Paul II (the Great), you communicated in a language audible and clear enough to be understood by everybody - the language of Truth-the Crucified Christ. Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, orthodox and Hindus; Communists, capitalists, politicians, traditionalists, modernists, the poor as well as the rich. Jews, men and women, black, white, blue or red all of us in our colours have been able to hear and those interested to understand your language either directly or indirectly. For those who always asked the implication/meaning of Truth just like Pilate, this is its essence. May humanity emulate your example as you intercede for us.
Dominic Ndugwa, Switzerland
A great man, blessed on earth for his goodness, will be doubly blessed in heaven. A sad loss for the world.
Jane Knight, UK
"May Your Spirit come. May Your Spirit come and renew the face of the earth. This earth" He said during his first pilgrimage to Poland on 2 June 1979. The God's Spirit has come but it is not important. The most important is his embrace of love for everybody everywhere. Let us try to be like John Paul II, let us love the people and let us trust in God. If we forget about his testimony and about his words, our life will become hollow and dry.
Marek Kapusta, Poland
It's a sad day for all the world. We lost a great leader. He will always be remembered and may his message of peace for the world be carried out, it would be the greatest tribute to his memory.
Jaan Vosa, Estonia
Tell me how the Father looks like.
I love you.
I was raised Catholic, then became an agnostic. Yet I do respect and admire Karol Wojtyla/Pope John Paul II, for he was an exceptional human being who did not only preach but also lead by example. May he rest in peace.
I am deeply moved by the passing of Pope John Paul II. But He has left legacies almost impossible to meet. He was the world's most unifying leader/factor between all races and religions. Good Bye Papa. Daniela Sappan k.c. Malaga, Spain.
Daniela Sappan KC, Spain.
Thank you John Paul II. You were a great man and great father. Rest in peace in house of our God
"You must be strong with the power of love, which is more powerful than death¿" - he said once. "Even though the valley of the shadow me walking through, I shall fear no evil¿ for you are with me"
One leaves, than for other may it be the collapse of the highest ideals... Remember, and I will keep in my heart for ever: nothing is over.. Each can always be alive in ours minds.
In memory of all greatest people
Tomasz Prusak, Poland
John Paul II is the greatest person who lived on this Earth. We are extremely proud that he was Polish. Poland loves The Holy Father. We will never forget Him, He will be always in our hearts. We will pray for Him. The World lost all the goodness. We are orphans because Our Father went to Heaven and nobody will care for us and pray for us like he did. Remember HIS words: Don't be Afraid
Marta Magdalena, Poland
"Service to human kind is service to God (he is omni present...he is in every human being)...so is Mother Theresa....so is Pope John Paul II¿ May god bless his soul for his service...
Kiran Kumar. Sirikonda, Sweden
You will be remembered as one of the most significant men in history. An example of endurance and humanity to us all. Fatima cries and prays for you.
Carlos Silva, Portugal
A force of good and a voice of reason in a troubled world. Thank you for your love.
Carolyn, Boston, USA
Dear Holy Father,
We love you more than you will ever know. May God forgive us and send us another beautiful soul like yours to save us from ourselves. Love Always, Your faithful son...
Tony Roth, USA
A man of the heart. He did well to consolidate his church. We all loved him. His legacy is love.
V. G. Ratnam, Canada
To a leader who changed the world. I had the privilege to see this Papa in 1984 who left his sign imprinted in my heart. Papa Giovanni fought till the end, to prove to his young shepherds to follow & continue in the steps which the Papa has showed us all have faith in man kind. God bless to a wonderful Papa that brought light to the world.
Jacqueline Dobson, Switzerland
I always felt like I knew him, and he knew me. He was a great father figure for me and the rest of the world .. I'm sorry to see him go, but I'm also happy to know he's gone to a better place. He was probably needed up there too!
Iuliu Popescu, Romania
John Paul II was a man who practised all that he preached, till the very end of his life on this Earth. As a human being, he set an example for us all.
Though I know he'll always be watching us from above, I will still be missing him.
Bartek P., Poland