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Poland unveils statue of late Pope John Paul II

The statue of the late pontiff stands on a hill overlooking the southern city of Czestochowa.
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A children's choir performs during a ceremony to unveil a statue of the late Pope John Paul II in Czestochowa, Poland, on April 13, 2013. (AFP/Getty Images)

Poland on Saturday unveiled a statue of the late Pope John Paul II, said to be the world’s largest of the Polish pontiff.

The 45-foot white fiberglass statue weighs 10 tons and stands on a hill over looking the southern city of Czestochowa, which already draws thousands of pilgrims every year seeking to pray before the painting of the Black Madonna – an ancient Catholic icon believed to work miracles.

The Associated Press reported the statue was funded by businessman Leszek Lyson, who credits the late pontiff for saving his drowning son.

Pope John Paul II led the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005. He was the first non-Italian pope in more than 450 years.

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