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Polish, foreign pilgrims come to places linked to John Paul II to celebrate his sainthood

  • Poland John Paul II-1.jpg

    A woman places her just-purchased portrait of Pope John Paul II into a carrier bag in the pontiff’s hometown of Wadowice, Poland, on Saturday, April 26, 2014, on the eve of Poland’s beloved pontiff being made a saint in a Vatican ceremony. Wadowice and nearby Krakow are among the key places linked to John Paul in Poland that are holding observances to mark the occasion. People will be able to see the Vatican ceremony live on giant screens there, and in many other places in Poland. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) (The Associated Press)

  • Poland John Paul II-2.jpg

    A group of pilgrims from near Avignon, France, take a picture by the figure of Pope John Paul II in front of the basilica where he was baptized in his hometown of Wadowice, Poland on Saturday, April 26, 2014,, on the eve of Poland’s beloved pontiff being made a saint in a Vatican ceremony. Wadowice, and nearby Krakow are among the key places linked to John Paul in Poland that are holding observances to mark the occasion. The group will watch the Vatican ceremony live in Krakow. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) (The Associated Press)

  • Poland John Paul II-3.jpg

    Alumni of the Capuchins order in God’s Mercy sanctuary in Krakow, Poland on Saturday, April 26, 2014, on the eve of the Vatican ceremony in which the much-loved pontiff is to be declared a saint. Krakow and nearby Wadowice are among the key places linked to John Paul in Poland that are holding observances to mark the occasion. People will be able to see the Vatican ceremony live on giant screens there, and in many other places in Poland. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) (The Associated Press)

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    People in front of the basilica where Pope John Paul II was baptized in Wadowice, Poland, on Saturday, April 26, 2014, on the eve of the Vatican ceremony in which the much-loved pontiff is to be declared a saint. Wadowice and nearby Krakow are among the key places linked to John Paul in Poland that are holding observances to mark the occasion. People will be able to see the Vatican ceremony live on giant screens there, and in many other places in Poland. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) (The Associated Press)

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.