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VATICAN CITY (CNN) -- Pope John Paul II was remembered Saturday as a "champion of human freedom," a "tireless advocate of peace" and a man with a "wonderful sense of humour" who was easy to talk to.

The charismatic pontiff, who led the world's 1 billion Catholics for 26 years, died at 9:37 p.m. (2:37 p.m. ET) Saturday in his private apartment. He was 84.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, "Quite apart from his role as a spiritual guide to more than a billion men, women and children, he was a tireless advocate of peace, a true pioneer in interfaith dialogue and a strong force for critical self-evaluation by the Church itself."


Brazil is the country with the largest number of Catholic followers, one of them, our friend, sculptor and artist, Luis P. Cunha, produces sacred artworks in his workshop where this photo was taken.


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Uploaded on April 6, 2005