Poles gather for John Paul II’s sainthood

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KRAKOW, Poland (AP) — Nine years after his death, Polish-born Pope John Paul II is rallying thousands of his countrymen again as the Vatican canonizes him as a saint.

Crowds with papal yellow and white flags and portable canvas stools arrived Sunday to watch the Vatican ceremony live on giant screens at the new John Paul II sanctuary in Krakow that is competing for pilgrims with the neighboring God’s Mercy sanctuary.

In the pope’s hometown of Wadowice crowds were spilling from the spacious basilica into John Paul II square.

In a unique ceremony involving four popes, John Paul II and John XXII are to be declared saints by Pope Francis, aided by emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.

Associated Press

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