During one of his clandestine ski excursions, a young boy noticed the Pope and began shouting “The Pope, the Pope!” The priest accompanying the Holy Father told the youngster, “Don’t be silly! …” —before they rushed back to their car and bolted to the Vatican. On another occasion, a boy of about eight seemed to be watching the Holy Father, who kept smiling back at him. Eventually, the youngster approached him and asked, “Are you the Pope?” John Paul’s reply? “Yes, do you want to ski with me?” The two went up the ski lift and down the mountain a number of times. After one of their runs, the boy yelled to his mother, who was sitting in a chair at the bottom of the slope, “Mom, did you know I’m skiing with the Pope?” The mom simply grinned and shook her head at the boy’s overactive imagination. Later in the morning, John Paul decided to pay a visit to the mother, who an eyewitness described as “flabbergasted.”
—From the book “Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves” by Jason Evert.