According to Monsignor Slawomir Oder, who has written an international bestseller, Why He Is A Saint (published in New York, London, and Milan), the late pontiff constantly helped the needy and as a priest literally gave shirts, jackets, and coats off his back, even in frigid weather. That generosity continued as he was promoted up through the hierarchy. On one occasion, the future saint gave a poor family in Brazil his very cardinal's ring -- which had been presented to him by Pope Paul VI! Blessed John Paul II even gave away his shoes -- his only pair, in another case (forcing him to ask for a pair before celebrating Mass).
That unselfishness and his mystical side drew even the most worldly to appreciate his unique presence. This is a Pope who would often upset travel schedules by halting to pray, at great length, in front of a tabernacle or at a Marian shrine. In fact, he promised the Madonna to visit a shrine for every vocation added to one particular monastery that suddenly boomed with new vocations. He walked five miles to one.
He readied for the morning services the night before, reciting the preparatory prayers in Latin. When he awoke, he remembered the intention for which he was to celebrate Mass. When he arrived in the sacristy, he would kneel and pray for fifteen to twenty minutes. The Pope once was heard to say, "They try to understand me from without. But I can only be understood from within." Continue reading at Spirit Daily