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Returning Pope's big welcome.

THE Pope returned to Poland yesterday in what many people believe will be his last visit to his homeland.

Tens of thousands of fellow countrymen filled the streets of Krakow in an emotional turnout for their favourite son.

Assisted by aides and clutching the handrail, the ailing 82-year-old Pontiff stopped several times as he descended from his plane.

But he frequently waved to the crowds welcoming him home.

The Pope stood during the Polish and Vatican anthems, but instead of kissing the ground he kissed a basket of wild flowers.

"Once again I greet Poland and all my countrymen," he said at the start of his ninth trip.

He will say mass for two million people in the city tomorrow.

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AILING: The Pope
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 17, 2002
Words:125
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