Graham called Pope John Paul II "unquestionably the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world during the last 100 years" shortly after the pontiff's death Saturday afternoon.
"He was truly one of those rare individuals whose legacy will endure long after he has gone," Graham said in a statement released by the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
In the statement, Graham recalled meeting with the pope at the Vatican.
"In his own way, he saw himself as an evangelist," Graham said. "He was convinced that the complex problems of our world are ultimately moral and spiritual in nature, and only Christ can set us free from the shackles of sin and greed and violence."