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article imagePope John Paul II's beatification set on May 1

By Adeline Yuboco     Jan 15, 2011 in World
Vatican City—Pope Benedict XVI signed an official decree on Friday scheduling the beatification of his predecessor Pope John Paul II on May 1, 2011.
The decision was made following the recognition of the Holy See of a post-humous miracle on his predecessor who—during his reign as Pope for 27 years help hasten the fall of communism in Europe—earlier this week. The said miracle was linked to the recovery of Marie Simon-Pierre of the Congregations of the Little Sisters of Catholic Motherhood in Provence of which doctors and medical experts could not explain scientifically.
In 2001, Sister Marie was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease—a neurodegenerative brain disorder that does not have a known cure. In a testimony she shared during the commemoration of the Second Death Anniversary of the late Pontiff, Sister Marie recounted how on the evening of June 2, 2005, she was healed from Parkinson's Disease after she and her fellow sisters prayed to Pope John Paul II to heal her. Her claims of healing underwent a meticulous, "serious and objective investigation" which led to the decision that the instantaneous healing was brought about by the intercession of Pope John Paul II to God after his death—a vital requirement for an individual to be considered for beatification by the Vatican.
The Australian adds:
The Vatican said that John Paul II's "reputation for saintliness in life, in death and after death," justified the beatification, which is pinned to the recovery of a French nun from Parkinson's disease, the illness suffered by John Paul. Beatification, the prelude to canonisation, requires confirmation of one miracle. Sainthood needs the Pope to attest to a second one and investigations are taking place.
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are expected to head to St. Peter's Square in Vatican City to witness the beatification of one of the most popular popes of all time.
Calls for the canonization of Pope John Paul II—whose real name was Karol Wojtyla— came during his funeral mass as thousands help up signs while chanting "Santo Subito" (Sainthood Immediately) in April 2005. This led John Paul II's successor to waive the standard five-year waiting period given to a potential candidate for sainthood, making this the shortest period between death and beatification on record in Church history. A second miracle in connection with Pope John Paul II is required for him to be canonized as a saint.
Residents of Pope John Paul II's home country of Poland immediately celebrated upon receiving the news of his beatification. One of whom is Lech Walesa—the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his bloodless opposition against Poland's communist regime.
"A man who was a living saint will officially become a saint. Our Pope did great things," Walesa told Times of India.
"I am very happy. For us Poles, this is a signal that we should live in dignity, just how our Saint John Paul taught us," Barbara Adaszewska added.
However, not all are thrilled with the news of John Paul II's beatification. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) criticized the decision of Pope John Paul II's beatification as "a hasty drive to confer sainthood on the Pontiff under whose reign most of the widely documented clergy sex crimes and cover-ups took place."
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