Small Papal Gesture Brought Big Smile To Local Woman

A lit candle and a single white rose - this is the way Rosa Broadus is honoring the life of a man who she believes walked as Christ did.

"He stood his ground, you know. And that made me really admire him. And I said he has just got to know how I feel," said Broadus.

And in 1986, she penned her feelings in a letter to the Pope.

"He's an advocate against abortion. This is what his convictions is all about, you know. And I just wanted him to know that there's so many out here that feel the same way, and how could I express it more than sending him a published letter?" said Broadus.

The letter had been previously published in a local newspaper, but she wanted the Pope himself to read it.

"I said monsignor, can you give me Pope John Paul the second's address? He said I don't want to discourage you he said but millions of people write to him and I said OK, that's fine. So I wouldn't give up, so I looked it up in the World Book encyclopedia for Vatican City newspaper. So I sent my published writings to them, with a personal letter in it for the pope and he received it. And when I heard from him I just felt so honored," said Broadus.

She actually received a letter from the Secretary of State in the Vatican, which said he had passed the letter on to the Pontiff.

But it was the small gesture of kindness from the Vatican, one she did not expect, that made her feel good.

And this is why the Pope's death created a feeling of grief, yet peace for Mrs. Broadus.

"I felt sad that he died, but I felt happy that his suffering was over," said Broadus.

Mrs. Broadus enjoys writing about religion and the joys of her faith.

She attends the chapel at Keesler Air Force Base Medical Center.