John Paul II Beatification

Pope John Paul II was a true believer, a courageous voice of truth and a man whose witness to the faith grew more eloquent as his ability to speak declined, Pope Benedict XVI and others who worked closely with the late pope said at events for his beatification. “John Paul II is blessed because of his faith—a strong, generous and apostolic faith,” Pope Benedict said on May 1 just minutes after formally beatifying his predecessor. In the beatification proclamation, Pope Benedict said that after a consultation with many bishops and members of the faithful and a study by the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, he had decided that “the venerable servant of God, John Paul II, pope, henceforth will be called blessed” and that his feast will be Oct. 22, the anniversary of the inauguration of his pontificate in 1978. Italian police said that for the beatification Mass more than a million people were gathered in and around the Vatican and in front of large video screens in several parts of Rome.

“I would like to thank God for the gift of having worked for many years with Blessed Pope John Paul II,” Pope Benedict said. “His example of prayer continually impressed and edified me; he remained deeply united to God even amid the many demands of his ministry,” the pope said. Pope Benedict said that even at the moment of John Paul’s death, people “perceived the fragrance of his sanctity and in any number of ways God’s people showed their veneration for him. For this reason, with all due respect for the church’s canonical norms, I wanted his cause of beatification to move forward with reasonable haste.”

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A youth takes the Eucharist from Monsignor Gregorio Rosa Chavez during a Mass giving thanks for Pope Francis' announcement that Chavez will be elevated to the rank of cardinal, at San Francisco de Asis parish church in San Salvador, El Salvador on Monday, May 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
Rosa Chavez has a reputation as a man of the people, warm and quick to smile.
Fan leaves the Park Inn hotel in central Manchester, England, on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Over a dozen people were killed in an explosion following a Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena late Monday evening. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Pope Francis sent his condolences and prayers to all those affected "by this senseless act of violence" in Manchester, England.
In this photo taken May 19, 2017, a GPO worker stacks copies of "Analytical Perspectives Budget of the U.S. Government Fiscal Year 2018" onto a pallet at the U.S. Government Publishing Office's (GPO) plant in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The budget’s moral measure will be assessed by “how well it promotes the common good of all,” the bishops write.
Kevin ClarkeMay 22, 2017
A veteran activist provides a blueprint for creating a movement in the moment of Trump.
Nathan SchneiderMay 22, 2017