VATICAN CITY, (C.M. Paul) – With the start of the Holy Week Rome is a pilgrim city with long lines to St peter’s basilica taking more than 40 minutes to clear the security check. JP2 beatification posters are everywhere. From displays at the back of city buses and at bus stops, to large hoardings on billboards almost three weeks before the scheduled beatification ceremony Rome is spruced up! Even entering the subway (metro) one is greeted with large JP2 beatification displays issued by “Comune di Roma” Rome City Corporation, with JP2’s own words in Romanesque (Roman dialect) “Let’s get on with the job. We are Romans!”
About two million people are expected. All hotel and pensione accommodations have been booked by March. Open air arrangements for a Tent City (camping) is prepared near Rome’s second airport, Ciampino. Lack of accommodation has not deterred hordes of youth from Europe descenting on Rome.
“We are arriving on 30 April and we plan to attend the whole night vigil, visit the Churches by night and move to St Peter’s Square for the beatification. After the beatification we catch flight back to Warsaw, says Monika Barzyc travelling with fiancé and friends from Poland. Over 700,000 people are expected from Poland.
Elaborate arrangements are being made for media coverage of the upcoming liturgies. RadioVatican and CTV (Vatican Television Centre) has the latest web broadcast technology that allows flawless streaming for all types of computers around the world.
JP2 Special Pass
Special JPII Pass costing Euro 18.00, offers an array of services for three days which include:
• Access to transportation within the city (bus, tram, subway, local train between Rome – Ostia) valid for 3 days after the first ride;
• Packed lunch provided on May 1st;
• Information Kit regarding events associated with the Beatification and helpful tips;
• Medical assistance;
• On-site assistance at the celebrations (entrance to St. Peter’s Square for the celebration of the Beatification Mass is not guaranteed);
• Double-decker bus tours, courtesy of Roma Cristiana, for 3 days;
• Access to the Mamertine Prison with an audio-guide;
• Access to the Basilica of St. John Lateran with an audio-guide;
The Vigil, 30 April (Circus Maximus, 20.00 to 22.30).
The celebration is divided into two parts. The first part dedicated to remembering the words and actions of John Paul II will start with a solemn procession during which an image of Maria Salus Populi Romani will be enthroned. Representatives of all the parishes and chaplaincies of the diocese will accompany the procession.
It will be followed by testimonies by Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls (JP2’s Press secretary) and Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz (JP2’s secretary), both of whom worked closely with the Pope, and by Sr. Marie Simon-Pierre, whose miraculous recovery opened the way for the beatification process. The Vigil will conclude with the hymn “Totus Tuus”, composed for the 50th anniversary of John Paul’s priestly ordination.
The second part will focus on the celebration of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, which were introduced by John Paul II. After the hymn “Open the doors to Christ”, Cardinal Vallini will give an introduction summarizing the spiritual and pastoral character of John Paul II. The Rosary will then be recited, with a live connection to five Marian sanctuaries around the world. Each of the five Mysteries of the Rosary will be linked to a prayer intention of importance to John Paul II.
In the Sanctuary of Lagniewniki, Krakow, the prayer intention will take the theme of youth; in the Sanctuary of Kawekamo, Bugando, Tanzania, the family; in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lebanon, Harissa, evangelisation; in the Basilica of Sancta Maria de Guadalupe, Mexico City, hope and peace among peoples; and in the Sanctuary of Fatima, the Church.
To conclude the vigil, Benedict XVI shall recite the final oration and impart the apostolic blessing to all participants, in live transmission from the Apostolic Palace.
On April 30th night the following churches will remain open for prayer: Sant’ Agnese in Agone, Piazza Navona; San Marco al Campidoglio; Santa Anastasia; Santissimo Nome di Gesù all’Argentina; Santa Maria in Vallicella; San Giovanni dei Fiorentini; San Andrea della Valle; and San Bartolomeo all’Isola.
2. Mass of Beatification, 1 May, Sunday after Easter or of Divine Mercy (St. Peter’s Square, 09.00: hour of preparation; 10.00: officiated by the Holy Father).
The solemn liturgy of beatification shall be preceded by an hour of preparation during which the faithful shall pray together the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a devotion introduced by Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska and dear to Blessed John Paul II. The preparation will conclude with an Invocation to Divine Mercy in the world, with the hymn “Jezu ufam tobie”. This will be followed by Mass, with the texts for the Sunday after Easter. At the end of the rite of beatification, the unveiling of the tapestry depicting the newly Blessed will be accompanied by the Hymn to the Blessed in Latin.
3. Mass of thanksgiving, Monday 2 May (officiated by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, St. Peter’s Square, 10.30).
Mass on Monday 2nd May shall be the first celebrated in honour of the newly Blessed John Paul II. The texts will be those of the Mass of the Blessed John Paul II. Music during the celebrations will be provided by the Choir of the Diocese of Rome, with the participation of the Choir of Warsaw and the Wadowice Symphony Orchestra, Poland.
On Friday 29 April, the tomb of the Blessed Pope Innocent XI – currently in the Chapel of St. Sebastian in St. Peter’s Basilica – will be transferred to the Altar of Transfiguration, to make way for the body of John Paul II. That morning, the coffin of John Paul II – which will not be opened – will be transferred before the tomb of St. Peter, in theVaticangrotto. On the morning of 1 May, it will be brought before the Altar of Confession in the Basilica.
Following the beatification ceremony, the Pope and the concelebrating cardinals will make their way to the Altar of Confession in the Basilica and will pray for a moment before the body of the newly Blessed. From that evening, those who wish to do so may venerate the remains of John Paul II.
Fr. Walter Insero, director of the Office of Social Communications of the Vicariate of Rome will present the new project, “Digital Sentinels”, recalling the polish Pope’s address to the young as “sentinels of the morning” on World Youth Day 2000 in Rome.
Through the already well-known portal “Pope2You”, http://pope2you.net/ provided by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, it will be possible to send digital postcards with phrases, in several languages, extracted from John Paul II’s various addresses to young people. Through this portal it will be possible to follow the scheduled celebrations (Vigil, beatification Mass, Mass of thanksgiving). Some useful websites: www.beatusjp2.comune.roma.it
Vatican JP2 facebook: http://www.facebook.com/notes/john-paul-ii-the-vatican-page/coming-next/195733363795810?ref=nf, http://www.facebook.com/vatican.johnpaul2