Rome Gears Up for John Paul II Beatification, May 1

Billboards from "Comune di Roma"

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.

"Comune di Roma" billboard

“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;
• Gadget.

3 day Transport & Events Pass

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.

"Comune di Roma" hoarding

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”,  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:
Vatican JP2 facebook:,



Filed under John Paul II beatification

2 responses to “Rome Gears Up for John Paul II Beatification, May 1

  1. Fr.Tomy Kuruvilla

    At last my long cherished dream is coming true.
    I am really thrilled to read about all the preparations that is going on for the GREAT DAY.
    I feel like sharing a personal experience of mine purely for spiritual enrichment.
    It was on the 26th of December 2004, I was operated for a bladder tumor in Apollo Hospital Kolkata. What I saw on the monitor soon after I came around shattered me further (tsunami scenes from all over the affected areas). To mark the occasion I termed it as the real tsunami in my personal life, but was happy to be alive still. The biopsy results further shattered me, since it was diagnosed to be Carcinomas, low grade II. Whatever grade I was diagnosed to be a cancer patient. It took me some time to recuperate from the shock of the diagnosis, though I checked out of the hospital in four days time.
    I returned to Sharjah to resume my normal activities after a month of rest, but still very much haunted by the thought of being a Cancer patient. To make matters worse, the opening words that a confrere used when he called me up when I returned from the hospital haunted me further. “So you sound Grave.” Though in itself he may not have intended any offence, the double meaning of it kept ringing in my ears constantly. So you can imagine the state of mind I was in soon after my operation.
    It was then that I witnessed the final blessing that John Paul II imparted to the whole world, on Easter Sunday and how B.B.C immediately removed that particular scene from the T.V. I don’t know how many of you witnessed it, the struggle with which pope John Paul II, imparted his last blessing to Humanity on easter Sunday. All what I said to myself then was “Here is a man who knows what it means to suffer.” That was it and I continued with my struggle to reconcile with the biopsy results.
    It was then all of a sudden I was woken up by a friend of mine in the night. I don’t remember the exact time, since I was in deep sleep after a day’s hard work. All what I could make out from his shattered voice mingled with tears was that pope John Paul the II was dead. He was literally crying loud, as a matter of fact, he had a deep love for the Holy catholic Church,and in particular for the person who died.
    I just cannot recollect fully, what followed, I know I just jumped out of my bed, like a spring. Took a pen and a paper and wrote the following “Dear St. John Paul the II, I just don’t want to see the cystoscopy results positive. I want you to heal me .” I was due for a cystoscopy in two weeks in Alkhasmisa Hospital,Sharjah,U.A.E.
    All that I did after that was to recall the scene of John Paul’s struggle on the T.V.Screen on Easter Sunday, and keep praying, asking for a total cure from my cancer.
    The day I had to leave for the hospital for the cystoscopy, I repeated the same spiritual exercise of writing down what I wanted from pope John Paul the second. “Dear St.John Paul the II, in the evening when I come back from the hospital I should be totally free from this cancer.” I have a habit of writing down and making a request, when I am really desperate. Believe it or not to this day all my requests have been granted, whether it is to Jesus, Our Lady,or Blessed John Paul the IInd.
    I went to the hospital rather cool, hoping against hope that all would be fine. I was taken into the Operation theater around 1pm. In Alkasmia hospital, they did it under General Anesthetic on that day. What ever it is, when I came around the loud cheering words of Doctor greeted me. “Fr.Tomy , there is no trace of it, you are lucky.” It kept on ringing in my ears until I reached my flat picked up from the hospital, by the individual who had announced the death of pope John Paul the II, (Mr.Tony Negthal, a Sri Lankan friend of mine.) On reaching the flat I wrote again on the same paper,”THANK YOU St. John Paul the IInd.”
    I got it verified an year latee, by the same Doctor who operated me in Apollo Hospital, Kolkata. The latest is the report that I received just a couple of days before from Caritas, Kottayam. Negative.
    Thank You, st.John Paul II, keep blessing humanity, especially the suffering ones. Probably the most powerful man on earth, you did share the bit cup of suffering, personifying, the very suffering Jesus in your life. Amen.

  2. Fr.Tomy Kuruvilla

    Sorry I forgot to add something very important.
    I had given my testimony in writing, (along with the notes that I had made as well as the medical report) to the Bishop of U.A.E, Paul Hinder OFm Cap of Abu Dhabi, in the following year, on the request of the then parish priest of Sharjah, Rev. Fr. Angelo O.F.M Capuchin. The Bishop infact told me once that he would forward it to Rome. However, when pope John Paul II’s beatification was announced earlier this year, I was already relocated in Kerala, India, to start my dream project, the Marian Career Guidance Centre for intelligent but under privileged youth at Kaduthuruthy. So, the situation prevented me from making any further inquiry about it.

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