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Pope John Paul II set for Sainthood

Pope John Paul II looks at a white dove freed at the end of the Angelus prayer in St Peter's Square, Vatican, 30 January 2005

John Paul II could be declared a saint this year after a Vatican committee approved a second miracle attributed to the Polish pope’s intercession.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints ruled an “inexplicable recovery” on 1 May 2011 was due to the late Pope’s intercession, Ansa reported.

Earlier that same day he had been beatified after a first miracle was attributed to his intervention.

Pope Francis must now give his approval before a canonisation date is set.

Canonisation is the final step in the official process that declares a deceased person to be a saint.

At a plenary meeting of the Congregation on Tuesday, cardinals and bishops mooted a canonisation ceremony taking place in December, sources told Ansa.

Pope John Paul II at St Peter's Square, Vatican - 2 June 2000
The Polish pope reformed the sainthood process in 1983

One possible date would be 8 December, on which Catholics celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception, which this year falls on a Sunday.

John Paul II could be canonised at the same time as John XXIII, Vatican sources suggested. Venerated by Catholics as “the good pope”, John XXIII was elected in 1958 and convened the Second Vatican Council in 1962, but died the following year before it was finished.

Canonisation requires the attribution of one further miracle to the intercession of the candidate after they have been beatified.

The Vatican has not revealed details about the second miracle in John Paul II’s case.

It was reportedly deemed an “inexplicable recovery” by a panel of doctors before being approved last month by a board of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints’ theologians.

John Paul II died in 2005 aged 84 and was beatified by his successor Benedict XVI in May 2011.

Among a crowd hundreds of thousands strong on St Peter’s Square was French nun Marie Simon-Pierre, who says she was cured of Parkinson’s Disease after praying for the intervention of the late pope little more than a month after he died.

Some questioned the Church’s speed in beatifying John Paul II just six years after his death.

Although widely regarded as one of the great popes of modern times, his 26-year pontificate was tarnished by his handling of the clerical sex abuse scandal that has rocked the global Church.

Critics say other of the Church’s deep-seated problems – such as its dysfunctional management and financial scandals at the Vatican bank – stem from shortcomings of his pontificate.

John Paul II reformed the sainthood process in 1983, making it faster, simpler, and cheaper. The office of “Devil’s advocate” – an official whose job was to try to knock down the case for sainthood – was eliminated, and the required number of miracles was dropped.

The idea was to lift up contemporary role models of holiness in order to convince a jaded secular world that sanctity is alive in the here and now, says veteran Vatican analyst John Allen.

The result was that John Paul II beatified and canonised more people than all previous popes combined.

July 3, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pope John Paul II on ‘fast track’ to Sainthood

KRAKOW TOURS – The process leading to sainthood for late Polish pope John Paul II has recently been accelerated, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said on Saturday after talks with Pope Benedict XVI.

“We expressed our hope for a continuation of the process and the latest signals show that this process has been recently speeded up,” Komorowski told reporters after the talks on the 32nd anniversary of John Paul II’s election.

Komorowski also attended a mass in honour of John Paul II in the Vatican.

Italian daily Il Giornale this week reported that initial medical confirmation of John Paul II’s first miracle — a vital step towards beatification and eventual canonisation — could come “in the next few weeks.”

A spokesman for the Vatican declined to comment on the report.

There had been speculation in Poland earlier this year that Saturday’s anniversary could see the beatification of John Paul II — the first step toward formal recognition as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.

The procedure leading up to sainthood usually takes many years.

Benedict also congratulated Komorowski ahead of the canonisation of Stanislaw Soltys, a 15th-century Polish priest who is to be recognised as saint at a ceremony on Sunday with five others including Australia’s first saint.

“Tomorrow Poland will have a new saint,” Benedict told the president.

Komorowski is set to attend the ceremony on Sunday on the square in front of Saint Peter’s basilica where around 50,000 faithful are expected.

The two leaders also discussed collaboration between church and state “for the common good,” as well as European affairs, the Vatican said.

Komorowski said he also informed Benedict about Poland’s reconciliation with Germany and about the “dialogue to bring about reconciliation with Russia too.”

He said the dialogue with Russia “will be long and difficult but possible and the Holy See is obviously looking on it with favour.”

 

October 17, 2010 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Polish Pope – The Musical

KRAKOW TOURS – Elvis Presley, Eva Peron, Buddy Holly have all had one. Now, so too, does Pope John Paul II: a musical dedicated to his life.

Actually entitled Non Abbiate Paura, or Don’t Be Scared, this show, like the others, is bustling with show-stopping songs, dance routines and drama. It is an attempt to cram the 84 years of his life into two hours.

The musical was written by two priests, one who wrote the script, the other who crafted the songs.

Father Joseph Spedicato is the wordsmith.

He says he took his inspiration from the teachings of the Pope and from at least six meetings with him.

“Writing a musical on Pope John Paul II represents the highest, most sublime honour,” he says. “He was the Pope who managed to tear down barriers, to reach out to people and who was a pilgrim of the world.”

The show voyages from the youth of the then Karol Wojtyla, under Nazi rule in Poland, to his triumphant election as Pontiff, and through his 26 years as head of the Catholic Church.

Playing him is the young actor Simone Sibillano.

He does not look like the Pope and it is not meant to be an impersonation, but Simone does feel connected to his subject.

“I am a very spiritual person,” he says. “The Pope was very special to young people like myself. The production will be received in many ways. Some will criticise, but some will applaud and all we can do is our best to capture his essence.”

Eighteen songs cover the many episodes of the Pope’s career, though controversial subjects like his views on abortion and contraception are sidestepped.

The spectacular even includes rap music and young women bounding around in gossamer-thin white costumes.

It is deeply respectful and although there are a few artistic licences taken in the name of brevity and clarity, it remains faithful to the story.

But is it just for Catholics?

“Oh no,” insists the director Gianluca Ferrato. “It is for men, women, black people, white people, for everyone. This is a universal message.”

There are many Catholics and non-Catholics who believe Pope John Paul II changed the world. Just remember the three million people who queued for up to 12 hours to pay their respects after his death in 2005. He’s already been described as the rock-star Pope, so popular was he with young people.

Since his death there have been books, films, even T-shirts. Well, now comes the musical. The ultimate accolade, perhaps, for someone who left an overwhelmingly positive legacy.

KRAKOW TOURS offers tours following in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II, from his birthplace in Wadowice through his time spent as Archbishop of Krakow and finally to his returns to Krakow as Pope. Email us for more information

Original at BBC Online

June 22, 2010 Posted by | News, Tour Information | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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