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Vatican releases John Paul II beatification schedule

By on Monday, 21 February 2011

The body of Pope John Paul II lies in state in St Peter's Basilica as mourners pass by on April 4, 2005 (Photo: CNS/Tony Gentile, Reuters)

The body of Pope John Paul II lies in state in St Peter's Basilica as mourners pass by on April 4, 2005 (Photo: CNS/Tony Gentile, Reuters)

The Vatican has released a three-day schedule of events for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, and warned people against buying counterfeit tickets to the beatification liturgy, which is free and open to all.

Pope Benedict XVI will preside over the beatification Mass at 10 am, May 1, in St Peter’s Square. Immediately after Mass, the faithful can pray before Pope John Paul’s mortal remains, which will be set in front of the main altar in St Peter’s Basilica.

The veneration “will continue until the flow of faithful ends”, the Vatican said.

Distributing the programme, Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said the deceased pope’s remains will be in the casket in which he originally was buried in 2005 and will not be visible.

The casket will be reinterred in the Chapel of St Sebastian on the main level of St Peter’s Basilica in a “private” ceremony, which will occur only after the large crowds have stopped coming to pay their respects, Fr Lombardi said.

The night before the beatification, a prayer vigil will be held in the grassy open space that was the ancient Circus Maximus in Rome, the Vatican said.

“It will be organised by the Diocese of Rome, which had the venerable servant of God as its bishop,” the note said. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, papal vicar for Rome, will lead the celebration and Pope Benedict is expected to watch through a video hookup.

The morning after the beatification, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, will celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving in St Peter’s Square, the Vatican said.

US Archbishop James Harvey, prefect of the papal household, which organises the non-liturgical side of papal events, also issued a statement emphasising the fact that tickets will not be required to attend the beatification.

The archbishop’s statement, distributed in six languages, said he had been “informed of the existence of unauthorised offers by some tour operators, especially on the internet”, claiming that for a fee they could help people get tickets to papal events, particularly the beatification Mass.

“For the beatification Mass of Pope John Paul II, as made clear from the outset, no tickets are required,” the statement said.

And for events that require tickets, such as the Pope’s weekly general audience, the tickets “are always issued free of charge and no person or organisation can request any kind of payment”, it said.

  • Carefree1905

    well i’m delighted to hear that this is taking place, howeveri would have liked him to be visible (not meaning that in a dirty sense, but the only true way to pay your respects to someone is to be physically able to see them)

  • Auricularis

    Maybe he is not visible because his remains have decomposed?

  • Carefree1905

    when he was buried, he was placed in three coffins. essentially, two of those layers are designed so that it’s airtight, and it’s impossible for him to deconpose, hence why people like padre pio etc have been dug up, put on public display and looked almost alive. yes, they often have to be sprussed up a little bit, but it’s very marginal

  • Auricularis

    So how does the church verify a reported miracle of incorruptibility if such devices are used?

  • Anonymous

    I cannot believe that this beatification is proceeding given the scandals associated with the Pontificate of John Paul II. Just as well for the Church that beatification doesn’t involve infallibility!

  • Acrwoodcock

    I was watching the Telvision Broadcast of what turned out to be Pope John Paul 2nd’s very last Eastertide broadcast.
    Initially the Holy Father was stood up but after a very short time he had to be helped into a chair; as he continued to speak the affect of the Parkinsons disease was all to apparent with his arm jumping around causing much distress, I noticed that he was gripping the arm of the chair so tightly that the veins in his hand were showing. I do not recall making a conscious effort to do so but I lent over and placed my hand on the TV screen on top of the image of his hand, at the same time I said ” God Bless You” . More than 2000 years ago the Lord spoke to Samuel who answered with the words ” Speak Lord for your servant heareth” At some time in Pope John Paul’s early life he too heard a voice calling with the message I want you to take up my cross and follow me and he replied ” – Speak Lord for your servant heareth”.
    In the face of the twin evils of Nazi invasion and Communisum they have been consigned to the dustbin of history.
    For the record I am an Anglican member of the Church of England.

  • Anonymous

    May I ask why you have not yet returned to your Father’s House, the Catholic Church?

  • Pdudek

    we would like to inform you, that the famous polish bestseller
    “He liked Tuesdays best. The story of everyday life of John Paul II”
    is now available in english version on the bookstore and website