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Pope John Paul II beatification

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One miracle down, one to go. Pope John Paul II was beatified during services at the Vatican this morning, six years after his death. Pope Benedict proclaimed John Paul “Blessed”, which is the title given to those to are beatified, a step toward sainthood.

More than one million were in attendance, in St. Peter's Square and along nearby streets. Giant TV screens showed images of the much-loved Pope and a huge tapestry depicting John Paul II was unveiled outside St. Peter's Basilica.

Proof of two miracles is required for sainthood. The first was ruled last year by Pope Benedict after Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a French nun, was cured of Parkinson's disease through prayers to John Paul II. A vial of his blood was brought to the beatification and displayed. John Paul II's coffin was also removed from its tomb and is on display this weekend.

A second miracle is needed before John Paul II is decreed a saint and canonized.

For more info:

For those who were not able to attend the Mass, the Vatican has set up a website, pope2you.net/index.php, that includes facebook, iphone and ipad applications.

Viator Tours offers many 'Skip the Line' Vatican and behind the scenes tours with English-speaking guides

New Yorkers who wish to visit the Vatican fly from JFK International Airport to Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) in Italy. The flight is approximately nine hours.

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