As the late Pope John Paul II is beatified in the Vatican, many in his home country, Poland, are jubilant. But Poland’s attachment to the late Pope stems from more than just national pride, since many credit him with helping to overthrow the communist state.
In the town of Wadowice in southern Poland, John Paul II is everywhere. His face flutters from flags lining the streets, and he beams down on passers by from statues and photographs. Wadowice is the late Pope’s home town. He was born Karol Wojtyla in 1920, in a three-room flat that now houses a museum filled with his personal affairs – his cradle, his skis and a doily made by his mother.