Pope John Paul II to be beatified on Divine Mercy Sunday – May 1

We now know that the date for the beatification of John Paul II has been set for May 1, which is the first Sunday after Easter, celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday – a Feast that the late John Paul II instituted for the Universal Church, as requested by Our Lord through St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish Sister who was canonized by the Pope. 

This is indeed great news! As reported by H2O News, “The decree authorizing the beatification and which recognizes the miracle was signed today by Benedict XVI, and the announcement was made by the director of the Vatican press office, Fr Federico Lombardi. The miracle concerns the recovery from Parkinson’s disease in a French nun, which took place June 3, 2005 after she and her Order sought the intercession of the Pope who had recently passed away. In St. Peter’s basilica, work is already underway for the construction of a tomb, set in one of the altars, which will house the mortal remains of John Paul II once he is declared ‘blessed’.”  (www.h2onews.org/english.html)

His extremely well-attended funeral was a clear sign of the impact and influence Pope John Paul II had over millions  of people across the globe. His childhood friends surely knew the great man he was and would become, as an old friend testifies in this videoclip: http://news.yahoo.com/video/world-15749633/ex-classmate-looks-forward-to-pope-s-beatification-23866767.

But many more outside of Poland also came to know and love the man who became pope, and to recognize the personal holiness he exhibited, which is now in the process of becoming officially recognized and upheld as worthy of emulation by the Church. And for this we are glad! As Carol Zimmermann rightly states, “The news of Pope John Paul II’s upcoming beatification was welcomed by many as a confirmation of something they already felt from the moment the shouts of “Santo subito!” (“Sainthood now!”) reverberated through St. Peter’s Square at the pontiff’s funeral.” (www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1100180.htm)

It sure is welcome news to me! I started asking him for his intercession the day he died. In fact, for the longest time now, I have added him and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta to the Litany of Saints I pray at the end of the recitation of the Rosary every day. 

I have always been very fond of Pope John Paul II – from the very first day I greeted him face to face… not once, but twice in less than 24 hours… and several more times over the years. It was that first couple of face to face encounters that helped solidify my trust in and commitment to the Catholic Church given to us by Christ.

Thank You, Lord, for the tremendous gift he was and still is to us!

Venerable Servant of God John Paul II, pray for us.

For information on the steps to or the process for being declared a saint, visit http://www.ewtn.com/JohnPaul2/cause/process.asp.

For information on the steps to or the process for becoming a saint, read the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament, along with the teachings of the Church, mother and teacher. Pray daily; identify and eliminate sin from your life as you wholeheartedly embrace the call to continual conversion; receive the Sacraments often and worthily; love God with all your whole being and love your neighbor as yourself, as Christ has loved us; imitate Christ in everything… If you do these things, you’ll be on your way!

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