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Religion

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Polish Faith - 19 Feb 2013
Photographer Kacper Pempel spent several months documenting different aspects of the Catholic faith in Poland, from night pilgrimages to visiting Poland's largest Roman Catholic church. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross."
POLAND/
RTR3DZ89
February 19, 2013
Poland's largest Roman Catholic church and one of the largest in the world, Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen,...
Lichen, Poland
Poland's largest Roman Catholic church and one of the largest in the world, Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen,...
Poland's largest Roman Catholic church and one of the largest in the world, Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen, is seen from the field in nearby village Julia, central Poland October 9, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A man rides a motorcycle on the road nearby Poland's largest Roman Catholic church and one of the largest...
Lichen, Poland
A man rides a motorcycle on the road nearby Poland's largest Roman Catholic church and one of the largest...
A man rides a motorcycle on the road nearby Poland's largest Roman Catholic church and one of the largest in the world, Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen, in Lichen Stary, central Poland, October 9, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
Workers walk in front of Poland's largest Roman Catholic church and one of the largest in the world,...
Lichen, Poland
Workers walk in front of Poland's largest Roman Catholic church and one of the largest in the world,...
Workers walk in front of Poland's largest Roman Catholic church and one of the largest in the world, Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen, in Lichen Stary, near Konin, central Poland October 9, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A woman visits the interiors of Poland's largest Roman Catholic church and one of the largest in the...
Lichen, Poland
A woman visits the interiors of Poland's largest Roman Catholic church and one of the largest in the...
A woman visits the interiors of Poland's largest Roman Catholic church and one of the largest in the world, Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen, in Lichen Stary, near Konin, central Poland October 9, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A priest listens to a confession during Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September 30,...
Warsaw, Poland
A priest listens to a confession during Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw
A priest listens to a confession during Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September 30, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken September 30, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

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February 19, 2013
Priests conduct Holy Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September 30, 2012. Poland is...
Warsaw, Poland
Priests conduct Holy Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw
Priests conduct Holy Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September 30, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken September 30, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A priest listens to a confession during Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September 30,...
Warsaw, Poland
A priest listens to a confession during Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw
A priest listens to a confession during Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September 30, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken September 30, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A woman holds a rosary at a monastery at night prior to celebrations of the Assumption of Mary at Jasna...
Lichen, Poland
A woman holds a rosary at a monastery at night prior to celebrations of the Assumption of Mary at Jasna...
A woman holds a rosary at a monastery at night prior to celebrations of the Assumption of Mary at Jasna Gora in Czestochowa August 14, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken August 14, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A priest inaugurates new altar boys during a Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September...
Warsaw, Poland
A priest inaugurates new altar boys during a Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw
A priest inaugurates new altar boys during a Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September 30, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken September 30, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A Catholic prays in front of the picture of former Polish Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski a day prior to celebrations...
Czestochowa, Poland
A Catholic prays in front of the picture of former Polish Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski a day prior to celebrations...
A Catholic prays in front of the picture of former Polish Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski a day prior to celebrations of the Assumption of Mary at Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa August 14, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken August 14, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
Catholic believers pray during the celebration of the Assumption of Mary at Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa...
Czestochowa, Poland
Catholic believers pray during the celebration of the Assumption of Mary at Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa...
Catholic believers pray during the celebration of the Assumption of Mary at Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa August 15, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken August 15, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
Catholic believers stand in front of the picture of former Polish Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski during celebrations...
Czestochowa, Poland
Catholic believers stand in front of the picture of former Polish Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski during celebrations...
Catholic believers stand in front of the picture of former Polish Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski during celebrations of the Assumption of Mary at Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa August 15, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken August 15, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

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February 19, 2013
Catholic worshipers take part in celebrations of the Assumption of Mary at Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa...
Czestochowa, Poland
Catholic worshipers take part in celebrations of the Assumption of Mary at Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa...
Catholic worshipers take part in celebrations of the Assumption of Mary at Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa August 15, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken August 15, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A man holds a painting of Jesus Christ at a street stall prior to the Mass of Assumption of Mary near...
Czestochowa, Poland
A man holds a painting of Jesus Christ at a street stall prior to the Mass of Assumption of Mary near...
A man holds a painting of Jesus Christ at a street stall prior to the Mass of Assumption of Mary near Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa August 15, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken August 15, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
Religious paintings including picture of the late pope John Paul II are displayed at street stall prior...
Warsaw, Poland
Religious paintings including picture of the late pope John Paul II are displayed at street stall prior...
Religious paintings including picture of the late pope John Paul II are displayed at street stall prior to celebration of the Assumption of Mary near Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa August 15, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
POLAND/
RTR3DZ8M
February 19, 2013
People wait in line for sausages during a picnic after Holy Mass in front of the Temple of Divine Providence...
Warsaw, Poland
People wait in line for sausages during a picnic after Holy Mass in front of the Temple of Divine Providence...
People wait in line for sausages during a picnic after Holy Mass in front of the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September 30, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken September 30, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A girl eats candy-floss during picnic after holy Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September...
Warsaw, Poland
A girl eats candy-floss during picnic after holy Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw
A girl eats candy-floss during picnic after holy Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September 30, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
POLAND/
RTR3DZ8O
February 19, 2013
Children play after Holy Mass in front of the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September 30, 2012....
Warsaw, Poland
Children play after Holy Mass in front of the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw
Children play after Holy Mass in front of the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw September 30, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken September 30, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A schoolboy raises his hand as nun Eligia leads religion lesson in public elementary school in Warsaw...
Warsaw, Poland
A schoolboy raises his hand as nun Eligia leads religion lesson in public elementary school in Warsaw...
A schoolboy raises his hand as nun Eligia leads religion lesson in public elementary school in Warsaw October 4, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
POLAND/
RTR3DZ8P
February 19, 2013
A nun, Eligia, holds a rosary as she leads a religion lesson at a public elementary school in Warsaw...
Warsaw, Poland
A nun holds a rosary as she leads a religion lesson at a public elementary school in Warsaw
A nun, Eligia, holds a rosary as she leads a religion lesson at a public elementary school in Warsaw October 4, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken October 4, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A woman waves to pilgrims walking to Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, on their way near Tomaszow...
TOMASZOW MAZOWIECKI, Poland
A woman waves to pilgrims walking to Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa on their way near Tomaszow Mazowiecki...
A woman waves to pilgrims walking to Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, on their way near Tomaszow Mazowiecki August 10, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken August 10, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A road sign covered with a Jesus statue-shaped sticker marking entrance to the city, is pictured in Swiebodzin...
SWIEBODZIN, Poland
A road sign covered with a Jesus statue-shaped sticker marking entrance to the city, is pictured in Swiebodzin...
A road sign covered with a Jesus statue-shaped sticker marking entrance to the city, is pictured in Swiebodzin near the German-Polish border October 12, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A statue of Jesus is seen behind a house in Swiebodzin near German-Polish border October 12, 2012. Poland...
SWIEBODZIN, Poland
A statue of Jesus is seen behind a house in Swiebodzin
A statue of Jesus is seen behind a house in Swiebodzin near German-Polish border October 12, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
Group of people take picture in front of a statue of Jesus in Swiebodzin near German-Polish border October...
Warsaw, Poland
Group of people take picture in front of a statue of Jesus in Swiebodzin
Group of people take picture in front of a statue of Jesus in Swiebodzin near German-Polish border October 12, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
POLAND/
RTR3DZ8U
February 19, 2013
A priest passes by pilgrims waiting in the corridor of a monastery at night prior to celebrations of...
Czestochowa, Poland
A priest passes by pilgrims waiting in the corridor of a monastery at night prior to celebrations of...
A priest passes by pilgrims waiting in the corridor of a monastery at night prior to celebrations of the Assumption of Mary at Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa August 14, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken August 14, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
Catholic worshipers hold a decorated picture of the late pope John Paul II as they take part in a night...
Warsaw, Poland
Catholic worshipers hold a decorated picture of the late pope John Paul II as they take part in a night...
Catholic worshipers hold a decorated picture of the late pope John Paul II as they take part in a night pilgrimage of around 25 km (16 miles) from Blonie to Niepokalanow monastery which is held every month in Blonie, near Warsaw October 13, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken October 13, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A Catholic worshipper kisses a cross as she takes part in a night pilgrimage of around 25 km (16 miles)...
Warsaw, Poland
A Catholic worshipper kisses a cross as she takes part in a night pilgrimage in Blonie
A Catholic worshipper kisses a cross as she takes part in a night pilgrimage of around 25 km (16 miles) from Blonie to Niepokalanow monastery, which is held every month in Blonie, near Warsaw October 13, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken October 13, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
Catholic worshipers hold decorated picture of late pope John Paul II as they take part in the night pilgrimage...
Warsaw, Poland
Catholic worshipers hold decorated picture of late pope John Paul II as they take part in the night pilgrimage...
Catholic worshipers hold decorated picture of late pope John Paul II as they take part in the night pilgrimage from Blonie to Niepokalanow monastery (around 25 km) which is held every month in Blonie, near Warsaw October 13, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
POLAND/
RTR3DZ8W
February 19, 2013
A statue of Jesus is seen behind communist-era residential apartments in the city of Swiebodzin near...
SWIEBODZIN, Poland
A statue of Jesus is seen behind communist-era residential apartments in the city Swiebodzin
A statue of Jesus is seen behind communist-era residential apartments in the city of Swiebodzin near the German-Polish border October 12, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." Picture taken October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

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February 19, 2013
A statue of Jesus is lit-up at night in Swiebodzin near German-Polish border October 12, 2012. Poland...
Warsaw, Poland
A statue of Jesus is lit-up at night in Swiebodzin
A statue of Jesus is lit-up at night in Swiebodzin near German-Polish border October 12, 2012. Poland is one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in Europe and is the birthplace of the previous pope, the very popular John Paul II. Many Poles were surprised and worried to hear that Pope Benedict was stepping down. Some also compared his decision to the last years of Pope John Paul, who struggled to carry on in his role with failing health. One Polish cardinal said John Paul had stayed on as pontiff to the end, as he believed "you cannot come down from the cross." REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
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