Americans admire Pope John Paul II, according to a Knights of Columbus/Marist poll released days before the May 1 beatification.

The results: 59% of those responding believe Pope John Paul was one of the best popes or the best pope in Church history. Among Catholics, the percentage rose to 82%.

The poll (of 1,274 people in the United States) also found that more than 40% of respondents said Pope John Paul made at least some difference in their life spiritually. Among Catholics, 73% said he had spiritual impact on their lives.

Fifty-five percent said they admired the Polish Pope a great deal or a good amount. Among Catholics, the percentage of admirers was 82%; among those self-identified as practicing Catholics, it was 89%.

About 90% of the Catholics polled said he was a good candidate for beatification.