Schedule released for beatification of John Paul II
February 18, 2011
The Vatican has released a schedule of events for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, outlining “a major ecclesial event” that will be divided into 5 separate ceremonies.
- On Saturday evening, April 30, a prayer vigil will be organized by the Rome diocese in the Circus Maximus. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the vicar for Rome, will preside; Pope Benedict XVI will participate by a video link to the Vatican.
- The beatification ceremony will take place in St. Peter’s Square beginning at 10 on Sunday morning, May 1. The Vatican has already announced that no tickets will be required for the ceremony, which is expected to draw 2 million people or more. However the announcement notes that “access to the square and surrounding areas will be regulated by the police.”
- Immediately following the ceremony itself, the remains of Pope John Paul II will be exposed for veneration in St. Peter’s basilica, in front of the Altar of Confession, “for as long as the faithful continue to arrive.”
- On Monday, May 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, will preside at a Mass of thanksiving in St. Peter’s Square.
- Finally, the remains of Blessed John Paul II will be re-interred in the Vatican basilica: in the chapel of St. Sebastian, near the main doorway. This ceremony will be held privately, the Vatican has indicated.
Police will undoubtedly close streets near the Vatican as the time of the beatification approaches, and even pedestrian traffic will be slow on the morning of May 1. Security measures and procedures for gaining access to St. Peter’s Square will be announced as the date approaches.
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