Inside the Vatican. Pope John Paul the Second was probably the most beloved pontiff in the modern era... He died in 2005. Author and Catholic intellectual George Weigel knew him personally, and was asked by the pontiff himself to write his biography. Weigel now believes his whole life may have been in Providential preparation for the undertaking. In this Lighthouse Faith Podcast, Weigel talks about this third installment of chronicling John Paul's life; about how it's much more personal for him. In 'Lessons in Hope: My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul the Second, " he recounts conversations over meals with John Paul, historic events and the Pope's inner circle of extraordinary of those he recalls as the brilliant Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict the Sixteenth.