May 1, 2011

The Pope beatifies John Paul II before 1.5M faithful

VATICAN town – Pope Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II before one.5 million devoted in St. Peter's sq. and surrounding streets Sunday, moving the beloved former pontiff one step nearer to attainable sainthood in one in all the biggest turnouts ever for a Vatican Mass.

The crowd in Rome and in capitals round the world erupted in cheers, tears and applause as a vast photo of a young, smiling John Paul was unveiled over the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica and a choir started hymn long related to the Polish-born pope.

"He restored to Christianity its true face as a faith of hope," Benedict said in his homily, pertaining to John Paul's decisive role in serving to bring down communism. Benedict dotted his remarks with personal recollections of a person he came to "revere" throughout their near-quarter century operating along.
Beatification is that the initial major milestone on the trail to attainable sainthood, one in all the Catholic Church's highest honors. A second miracle attributed to John Paul's intercession is required for him to be canonized.

The beatification, the fastest in trendy times, could be a morale boost for a church scarred by the sex abuse crisis, however it's conjointly triggered a brand new wave of anger from victims as a result of the scandal occurred below John Paul's 27-year watch.

Police placed wide swaths of Rome even miles (kilometers) from the Vatican off limits to personal cars to confirm security for the estimated sixteen heads of state, eight prime ministers and 5 members of European royal homes attending.

Helicopters flew overhead, police boats patrolled the nearby Tiber River and a few five,000 uniformed troops manned police barricades to confirm clergymen, official delegations and people with coveted VIP passes may get to their places amid the throngs of pilgrims.

Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia, carrying a black lace "mantilla," mingled with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, Poland's historic Solidarity leader and former President Lech Walesa and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who sidestepped an EU travel ban to attend.
"He went everywhere the globe," said Bishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako, Mali, who came to Rome for the ceremony. "Today, we're returning to him."

Vendors hawked John Paul trinkets: bottle openers, key chains, cushions, calendars and T-shirts.
Benedict place John Paul on the fast-track for attainable sainthood when he dispensed with the standard five-year waiting amount and allowed the beatification method to start weeks when his April two, 2005, death. Benedict was responding to chants of "Santo Subito!" or "Sainthood Immediately" that erupted throughout John Paul's funeral.
On Sunday, a gaggle of pilgrims from Krakow affixed a banner to a fence outside the sq. that said "Santo Subito," proof that for several of the devoted, John Paul already could be a saint.
"John Paul was a beautiful man and it is a privilege to be here. It's wonderful to ascertain folks from all across the globe," said Anne Honiball, 48, a nursing home administrator from Worthing, England who carried alittle Union Jack flag.

"We missed the royal we tend todding however we are Catholics and this was alittle additional vital, I suppose," said Honiball, a former Protestant who converted to Catholicism ten years ago.
Around the world, Catholics celebrated the beatification, jamming churches from Mexico to Australia to hope and watch broadcasts of the Rome Mass on tv.

"He was a model and an idea who united the globe along with his extraordinary charisma," said John Paul Bustillo, a 16-year-old medical student named when the pontiff who turned out Sunday beside quite three,000 for a six-mile (10-kilometer) race followed by a Mass close to Manila Bay within the Philippines.

In John Paul's native Poland, tens of thousands of individuals gathered in rain in an exceedingly major sanctuary in Krakow and in Wadowice, where the pontiff was born in 1920 as Karol Wojtyla. Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his wife Malgorzata watched the ceremony along side Wadowice residents.

"I marvel what we'd are like and what wouldn't have happened if we tend to had not had our pope," the PAP agency quoted Tusk as saying. "All that sensible that we tend to all have received continues to be operating."
Speaking in Latin, Benedict pronounced John Paul "Blessed" shortly when the beginning of the Mass, held below bright blue skies and amid a ocean of Poland's red and white flags — a scene paying homage to John Paul's 2005 funeral, when some three million folks paid homage to the pope.

Benedict recalled that day six years ago, saying the grief the globe felt then was tempered by immense gratitude for his life and pontificate.

"Even then, we tend to perceived the fragrance of his sanctity," Benedict said, explaining the "reasonable haste" with that John Paul was being honored.

Benedict said that through John Paul's religion, courage and strength — "the strength of a titan, a strength that came to him from God" — John Paul had turned back the seemingly "irreversible" tide of Marxism.
"He rightly reclaimed for Christianity that impulse of hope that had in some sense faltered before Marxism and also the ideology of progress," Benedict said.

After the nearly 3-hour Mass, Benedict prayed before John Paul's coffin within St. Peter's Basilica, that was expected to remain open through the night and for as long because it takes to accommodate the throngs of devoted who wish to pay their respects.

The sealed coffin can ultimately be moved to a facet chapel within the basilica simply next to Michelangelo's famous marble "Pieta" statue.

Spanish Cardinal Agustin Garcia-Gasco Vicente, 80, suffered a heart attack Sunday morning in Rome and died before the Mass, the Vatican said.

Police place the figure of these attending the Mass at one.5 million; solely a number of hundred thousand may work into St. Peter's sq. and also the surrounding streets however others watched it on a number of the fourteen huge TV screens originated around city or listened to it on radios in Polish or Italian.

"I am disappointed however conjointly happy to be here for the atmosphere," said Boleslaw Wisniewski, 83, who came with 5 members of his family by bus from Warsaw. He stood taking note of the music drifting over the packed crowd, however may see nothing.

"He's our holy father — a Pole — and that we are proud," he said.
During the Mass, Benedict received a silver reliquary holding a vial of blood taken from John Paul throughout his final hosptalization. The relic, a key feature of beatification ceremonies, are accessible for the devoted to venerate.

It was presented to him by Sister Tobiana, the Polish nun who tended to John Paul throughout his pontificate, and Sister Marie Simone-Pierre of France, whose inexplicable recovery from Parkinson's disease was decreed to be the miracle necessary for John Paul to be beatified.

Thousands of pilgrims, several of them from John Paul's native Poland, spent the night in sleeping baggage on bridges and in piazzas around city, and then packed St. Peter's as soon because the barricades opened over an hour before as a result of the crowds were too nice.

They stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the most boulevard resulting in the Vatican, Via della Conciliazione, still as on facet streets around it and also the bridges crossing the Tiber resulting in St. Peter's waving flags from Argentina, Germany, Britain and Lebanon.

It's the fastest beatification on record, returning simply six years when John Paul died and beating out the beatification of Mother Teresa by a number of days.

The beatification ceremonies commenced officially with a all-night prayer vigil that began Saturday on Rome's ancient Circus Maximus field and continued as pilgrims moved around eight churches that stayed open all night, a "white night" of prayer in honor of the late pope.

"The weather is delicate and thus it'll not be a tangle to pass the night here, and there's conjointly a really nice atmosphere," said Pauline Rosenfeld, a 20-year-old pilgrim from Paris sitting with friends in her sleeping bag gearing up for an evening spent outdoors.

The beatification is happening despite a drumbeat of criticism concerning the record speed with that John Paul is being honored, and continued outrage concerning clerical abuse: several of the crimes and cover-ups of clergymen who raped kids occurred on John Paul's 27-year watch.

Vatican officers have insisted that John Paul deserves beatification despite the fallout from the abuse scandal, saying the saint-making method is not a judgment of how he administered the church however rather whether or not he lived a lifetime of Christian virtue.

But victims' teams like the U.S. Survivors Network for Those Abused by clergymen have said the speedy beatification was simply "rubbing additional salt in these wounds" of victims.

Rome itself appeared invaded by Poles overjoyed that their native son was being honored. Special trains, planes and buses shuttled Poles in for the beatification.

Anna Fotyga, a former Polish foreign minister and member of Poland's parliament, arrived on a special train Sunday morning carrying the Polish parliamentary delegation. She reminisced concerning John Paul's impact on communist Poland within the late Nineteen Seventies and 80s.

"I was a student at that point, and truly seeing him, taking note of him started transformation in Poland, I am sure," she said.

Associated Press