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Vatican Announces Beatification of John Paul II

The Vatican announces the beatification of John Paul II on May 1, 2011 in Rome. Spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI will preside over the service on Divine Mercy Sunday, the feast day John Paul II actively promoted, immediately following Easter.

Vatican reports speculate John Paul II's body will be re-interred from its speculated St. Sebastian's resting place to St. Peter's for the beatification. Beatification is the third step in the four part canonization process and grants the person beatified the title of "Blessed." The Church's beatification process recognizes a dead person's entry into Heaven and ability to act on behalf of those who pray in his or her name with the intercession of saints. John Paul II is believed to have cured Sister Marie Simon-Pierre from Parkinson's Disease, in addition to his many contributions as one of the most prominent leaders of the Church and 20th century.

The beatification process for John Paul II was declared in a statement from the Church which included the reasoning for the beloved Pope's beatification : "An important sign of the depth of faith, of the diffusion of faith in the path of life of that person...[and] stimulus for us all toward a Christian life ever more profound and full...John Paul II's pontificate was an eloquent and clear sign, not only for Catholics, but also for world opinion, for people of all color and creed."

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