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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

Green balloons reading "Yes to life" are held by pro-life activists during Pope Benedict XVI's Angelus address yesterday (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 07/02/11

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

Rome is already making preparations to welcome around two million pilgrims

John Paul II during a visit to Paris in 1980 (Photo: CNS)

His beatification is a declaration of his holiness, not his achievements

Pilgrims at the funeral Mass of John Paul II in St Peter's Square (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

By the time of his death, his greatness had become universally perceived

Pope John Paul II, creator of the World Youth Days, has been named patron for World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid

Pope Benedict XVI waves at the faithful at the end of the Angelus (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 17/01/11

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

Benedict XVI has announced the beatification of Pope John Paul II, to take place on May 1

Priests pray in front of the slogan: 'We thank you for freedom at St Anne's church in Warsaw, Poland (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

US author George Weigel says the late pope faced a full-scale war launched by Communism against the Catholic Church

Decree praises late pope’s steadfast faith