By Syma Chowdhry

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Devout parishioners arrived at St. Aldalbert Roman Catholic Church in Port Richmond for mass as usual, but this was no ordinary Sunday.

Many started their morning watching a historic event. Pope John Paul II has been declared a saint.

He was of Polish descent — and many of those who attend this church are very proud of that.

“He was a very good man. He did a lot for Polish people, for everybody.”

Saint John Paul visited this church in the summer of 1976 when he was a cardinal. A few years later, after becoming a pope, he returned to Philadelphia.

“I remember seeing him at 17th and Chestnut (Streets),” said parishioner Barbara Jendrzejewska. “He even waved. My girlfriend said, ‘wave.’ She is polish. We were so excited.”

The crowning moment came on the Ben Franklin Parkway, where a million people witnessed his Papal Mass.

Jendrzejewska says the canonization is something she will never forget.

“It’s something you’re hold on to your whole life,” she said, “because we are never going to see this again.”

The church held a canonization prayer and Thanksgiving mass to mark this joyous occasion.