From distant Canada to small Polish towns, pilgrims are arriving in places linked to Pope John Paul II for concerts and prayers held on the eve of him being declared a saint.

People are gathering on Saturday in John Paul's hometown of Wadowice, now festively decorated in national and papal colors, and in Krakow, where Karol Wojtyla served as priest and bishop for more than 30 years before being chosen pope.

The late John Paul and Pope John XXIII will be made saints Sunday in an unprecedented Vatican ceremony that will be celebrated by Pope Francis with help from Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.

John Paul remains special to his countrymen for having inspired the ouster of communism from Poland and for his teaching centered on human dignity.