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Faithful hold candles at the vigil in the Circus Maximus racetrack in Rome (AP photo)

Crowd of 200,000 in Rome hear testimonies from John Paul II’s close friends and from the Sister cured of Parkinson’s thanks to his intercession

The next event is a vigil at Circus Maximus tonight

The coffin containing the body of Pope John Paul II is exhumed ahead of his beatification (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

His casket is placed before the tomb of St Peter

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 issues a three-day timetable of events and emphasises that beatification Mass is free and not ticketed

Rome is already making preparations to welcome around two million pilgrims