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The World

Poles Cheer Pope's Anniversary

October 13, 2003|From Times Wire Services

KRAKOW, Poland — Troubled by pictures of a frail Pope John Paul II, throngs of Poles celebrated the 25th anniversary of their native son's papacy Sunday, cheering as he addressed them by television from the Vatican.

Tens of thousands in Wadowice, John Paul's hometown, and in three other outdoor venues braved a chilly evening with song and prayer for the man whose Oct. 16, 1978, election as pope strengthened an oppressed nation. Churches and central squares were festooned with yellow papal banners as Poles expressed their affection with Masses, concerts and national television specials.

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