More than 1 million people attended Pope John Paul II’s beatification

AP report: The beatification of John Paul II


( Moving one step closer to sainthood, the late Pope John Paul II was beatified yesterday, May 1,  at St. Peter’s Square in Rome, reports Reuters. "From now on, Pope John Paul shall be called ’blessed,’" Pope Benedict XVI said in Latin in a ceremony attended by more than a million people. He added that his predecessor’s feast day will be October 22.

Around 90 official delegations from different countries, including 16 heads of state, attended the ceremony. According to Reuters, many of the participants camped out during the night at St. Peter’s Square, and on the day of the beatification, the crowd stretched as far back as the Tiber River that is over half a kilometer away.

A place of honor was reserved for Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand, a French nun who was inexplicably cured of Parkinson’s disease. The miracle was attributed to John Paul’s intercession with God and provided the grounds for his beatification. Another miracle attributed to John Paul’s intercession is needed for him to be declared a saint.

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