With the passing of Pope John Paul II it is only natural that we take a look at some of the myths and legends surrounding the papacy. Answers.com has some good listings of some of prominent papal legends and myths of the past including a woman pope, and a supposed "Satanic" tiara.
Hometown Tales has a more recent myth regarding the late Pope John Paul II. This Pope has some great tales and stories surrounding him including the controversy of his selection. (If you saw the Godfather III, there is a good conspiracy theory around claiming the first John Paul was whacked by the Mafia). There are also great stories of JP #2's assassination attempt. John Paul II credits his recovery from being shot to the Virgin Mary. There are many doctors who were baffled by the apparent reverse course of direction the bullet that entered The Holy Sees body took. It was heading straight for a vital organ but mysteriously re-route its direction, they claim.
A more interesting legend of this Pope involves the now famous "Gateway to Hell" in Stull, Kansas. You've heard us discuss Stull, KA on our site and in our podcasts. Stull, Kansas is a quiet town that has been plagued by an urban legend surrounding an old cemetery in town. The cemetery is greatly historic but through a series of fabricated reports it now has the reputation of being a cemetery haunted by the Devil himself. And that's where Pope John Paul II comes in.
When Pope John Paul II visited Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado for World Youth Day in 1993, a rumor surfaced about his fear of Stull, KS. It would only be natural the "Vicar of Christ" on earth would avoid Stull, being that Stull is the supposed location of a "gateway to hell". The urban legend would site a Time magazine article stating the Pope John Paul II requested his plan fly far around that section of Kansas because he did not want to fly over "unholy" ground.
Of course, the article never existed and the Pope's plane was nowhere near Kansas during its flight. But it's a great story, isn't it?
Check out more info on Stull, Kansas on our site and Hometown Tales TV Show 9 and some of our podcasts. Also, there is a great write-up and info by Troy Taylor on Prairie Ghosts