Few popes had served longer than John Paul II, and no one in history was seen by more people in person during his quarter century of circling the globe and taking his faith to his flock. An estimated one billion people - one of every six on the planet - witnessed the Pope during his travels. Many of them live here, in Sussex County. When John Paul II took ill and began his relatively rapid decline, we asked our readers to share with us their own papal experiences. We received a number of responses, most from people who had gone to one of the masses the Pope said during visits to Giants Stadium, Shea Stadium and Aquaduct Race Track. Others had seen him in Rome. The impact he had is as fresh today as it was the day they saw him. They all recall a man with a palpable aura of the divine about him, a man who reached deeply inside them and changed their lives - for the better. We are publishing as many of these personal recollections as we can today as a memorial to a man who touched people of all faiths as few ever have.