The greatness of the Polish pope Print
By Eric Metaxas   
Monday, 06 May 2013

His openness, vulnerability, and humor drew laughter and applause from the crowd [on the day of his election]. By the time the extemporaneous speech drew to a close, a remarkable thing had happened: the crowd that was surprised and confused before was now wholeheartedly on John Paul II’s side. The observers in St. Peter’s Square – and observers around the world – were with him.
Part of the greatness of this man was his extraordinary ability to communicate humbly and humorously and clearly. There can be no other word for it: he was charming. Like a great politician, but without a hint of guile, he managed to connect with his audiences in a way that delighted them. He would do it many times in the years ahead, but that day in St. Peter’s Square was the first time he did it. And after he had delivered this inaugural speech, he did something that politicians do, but that popes did not: he waded into the crowd.