World

Poles gather for prayers to mark 10th anniversary of death of Polish Pope John Paul II

  • A large poster of late Pope John Paul II is laid out as Roman Catholic faithful prepare to mark the 10th anniversary of his death in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, April 2, 2015.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    A large poster of late Pope John Paul II is laid out as Roman Catholic faithful prepare to mark the 10th anniversary of his death in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, April 2, 2015.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • A large poster of late Pope John Paul II is laid out as Roman Catholic faithful prepare to mark the 10th anniversary of his death in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, April 2, 2015.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    A large poster of late Pope John Paul II is laid out as Roman Catholic faithful prepare to mark the 10th anniversary of his death in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, April 2, 2015.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • A large poster of late Pope John Paul II is laid out as Roman Catholic faithful prepare to mark the 10th anniversary of his death in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, April 2, 2015.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    A large poster of late Pope John Paul II is laid out as Roman Catholic faithful prepare to mark the 10th anniversary of his death in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, April 2, 2015.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

Roman Catholic faithful in Poland have gathered to remember the Polish-born Pope John Paul II on the 10th anniversary of his death.

Crowds turned out in Warsaw and Krakow, where John Paul served as archbishop before his election as pontiff in 1978. They prayed, light candles and watched videos of the pope, a revered figure in his homeland.

John Paul is credited in Poland with helping to bring down communism by encouraging mass opposition to the Moscow-backed system. His death 10 years ago sparked deep national mourning.

But in a sign of how the country is also growing more secular, the crowds that turned out Thursday evening were relatively small.