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Pope John Paul II, very nearly a saint.

KRAKOW TOURS – According to an Italian daily newspaper, the beatification ceremony of John Paul II – an important step towards sainthood, could be held at the Vatican as early as April this year.

Il Giornale reports that a committee of doctors and theologians have recognised a miracle by John Paul II – one of the conditions of beatification – and the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints will take a final vote in the beatification process this month.

The Italian newspaper writes that just before the end of last year, the committee of doctors at the Vatican ruled that the cure of French nun Marie Simon-Pierre of advanced Parkinson’s disease was inexplicable other than from intervention of the Polish Pope.

“All I can tell you is that I was sick and now I am cured. It is for the church to say and to recognise whether it is a miracle,” the 46 year-old nun told a press conference back in 2007.

“I am cured. It is the work of God, through the intercession of Pope John Paul II,” she said, cliaming her symptoms cleared after praying to JP II.

A committee of cardinals and bishops have now received all the documentation connected with the case and will meet in mid-January to assess them. If positively assessed then they will be sent to Benedict XVI.

Beatification could then take place on 2 April 2011, the sixth anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II.

The ceremony could be held in October, however, on the 33rd anniversary of the election of Karol Wojtyla as pontiff.


January 4, 2011 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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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