From the moment a date was announced for John Paul II's canonization, this group started making plans to celebrate the big day at the Vatican.
Carmen was 19 years old when John Paul II visited Spain for the very first time. It was a ten day visit and it left an impression. Now, she decided to come to Rome to tell him thank you.'
"Every single night we went to the nunciature and every night we sang to the Pope to get his attention. Then, he would come out and talk to us.”
About two years ago, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Despite being in a wheelchair, she says her illness did not discourage her from coming. It was something bigger than her.
"Every time he spoke, he would fill our hearts. It was a fantastic feeling because he connected with everyone in a unique way.”
She says it's a shame that younger generations didn't get to personally meet this Pope. But she admits, his legacy is still very much alive.
"He moved our hearts and he touched our soul, especially mine. He had this gift of bringing out the best in each and everyone of us. He was very special. I'm sorry for those who missed it.”
There are thousands of stories like that of Carmen. The Pope visited 129 countries throughout his pontificate. Now pilgrims from every corner of the world, say it's their turn to return the favor.