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European Journal

Poland: The People's Pope

Pope John Paul II's beatification is scheduled for May 1. The occasion is eagerly anticipated across Poland, where the pope was born.

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Papstausstellung in Polen

Busts of John Paul have been put on display around the country. Now, the scramble has begun for religious relics belonging to the late pontiff. The John Paul II Center said a vial of blood drawn from the pope will be installed in a church in Krakow after the beatification ceremony. Meanwhile, a small church in southern Poland is also hoping to obtain a token of the late pontiff. The pastor of the church in the small town of Lesna has been collecting religious relics from around the world for over 10 years. He has about 100 items, including the hair of Mother Theresa. Now, the pastor wants to add something from John Paul to his collection; after all, the pope laid the cornerstone of the church in Lesna.