With the region's ties to Catholicism dating back more than a millennium, it's no wonder a popular refrain is often recited: "To be a Pole is to be a Catholic; and to be a Catholic is to be a Pole."
That national pride and heritage was solidified even more by one Karol Jozef Wojtyla — the native of Wadowice, Poland, is better known as the venerable Pope John Paul II, serving from Oct. 16, 1978, until his death on April 2, 2005.
Deemed one of the most influential leaders of his time, he is seen as instrumental in ending communism not only in his native Poland but throughout Europe.
With an estimated 90 percent of Poles considering themselves Catholic, Poland is the most devout country in ever-more-secularist Europe. It is a God-fearing, family-oriented, Sabbath-observing nation — but a tough Catholic shell to crack for other religions, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.