Monday, January 17, 2011

Chapel of Saint Sebastian

The Altar in the Chapel of St. Sebastian with
Blessed Pope Innocent XI's Body

The body of future Blessed Pope John Paul II will be placed in the chapel of St. Sebastian between the Pieta and the Chapel of the Eucharist. The chapel features an altarpiece executed by Pier Paolo Cristofari from a painting by by Domenichino Zampieri. It previously held the mortal remains of Blessed Innocent XI (1676-1689).

 Floor Plan of the Basilica
Saint Sebastian's Chapel is numbered 76
Michaelangelo's Pieta is numbered 80

Ceiling immediately in front of Saint Sebastian's Chapel

Friday, January 14, 2011

Vatican announces beatification of Servant of God John Paul II

On Friday the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints published the decree for the beatification of the late great Servant of God John Paul II. To read the full decree, please follow this link

Source : Vatican Radio

Pope John Paul to be beatified May 1

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The pope has approved a miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II's intercession and set May 1 as the date for the beloved pontiff to be beatified.

Pope Benedict XVI declared in a decree Friday that the cure of a French nun who suffered from Parkinson's disease was miraculous, the last step needed for the beatification.

The May 1 ceremony is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to Rome to celebrate one of the most popular popes of all time. A second miracle is needed for John Paul to be made a saint.

Benedict put John Paul on the fast track to possible sainthood just weeks after he died in 2005, responding to the chants of "Santo Subito!" or "Sainthood immediately!" that erupted during his funeral.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Vatican: John Paul II to be beatified

From Hada Messia, CNN
January 14, 2011 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)

Rome (CNN) -- The Vatican announced Friday that John Paul II will be beatified later this year, putting him on the verge of sainthood.

The beatification ceremony will take place on May 1, 2011.

The beatification, which will make the late pope "the Blessed John Paul II." probably will draw hundreds of thousands of faithful to St. Peter's Square.

Medical and theological experts have credited John Paul II with the healing of a nun whose order prayed to him after he died in 2005. Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre says she was cured of Parkinson's disease.

Stepping from beatification to sainthood requires a second miracle.

The beatification of John Paul II is coming very fast in Vatican terms, a little over six years after his death.

Source : CNN
Jan 14, 2011 7:23 AM | By Sapa-AP 

Evidence is mounting that the Pope will soon approve the miracle needed to beatify Pope John Paul II, setting the stage for a major celebration this year for a Catholic Church trying to recover from the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Italian news media have been reporting that in recent weeks Vatican-sponsored panels confirmed that a young French nun was miraculously cured of Parkinson's disease after praying to the Polish-born John Paul.

Pope Benedict XVI now must sign off on the miracle and set a date for the beatification, the first major step to possible sainthood.

Polish Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, former No. 2 of the Polish Bishops' Conference and an old friend of the late Pope, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he understood an announcement could come on Friday, though he stressed he didn't have independent confirmation.

He said the beatification date could be as early as May 1, though other reports have said it would be later in the year given the enormous preparations that will be necessary to host the influx of pilgrims for the event.

On Thursday, workers began restoring a mosaic in a chapel near the entrance of St. Peter's Basilica, where John Paul's remains presumably would be moved for better public access once beatified.

His tomb is currently in the grottoes underneath the basilica, where a short line of tourists waited on Thursday to pay their respects.

The Vatican will not publicly discuss the possibility of such a move ahead of a formal announcement by Benedict, said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

Benedict put John Paul on the fast track to possible sainthood just weeks after he died in 2005, responding to the chants of "Santo Subito!" or "Sainthood immediately!" that erupted during his funeral Mass.

Benedict waived the typical five-year waiting period before the process could begin, but he insisted that the investigation into John Paul's life be thorough so as to not leave any doubts about his virtues.

The last remaining hurdle concerned the approval by Vatican-appointed panels of doctors and theologians, cardinals and bishops that the cure of French nun, Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre, was a miracle due to the intercession of John Paul.

The nun has said she felt reborn when she woke up two months after John Paul died, cured of the disease that had made walking, writing and driving a car nearly impossible. She and her fellow sisters had prayed to John Paul, who also suffered from Parkinson's.

Last year, there were some questions about whether the nun's original diagnosis was correct. But those doubts were apparently put to rest after more doctors examined her case.

Il Giornale, a conservative newspaper which covers the Vatican closely, reported earlier this week that the nun's case had cleared the panels and that all that remained was Benedict's approval.

"The pope still needs to pronounce himself but it has not happened before that he would not accept such an opinion (confirming a miracle)," Pieronek told the AP.

A second miracle, occurring after beatification, must be confirmed for John Paul to be declared a saint.

Since John Paul was such a universally beloved figure, his beatification is expected to be a major boost for a church reeling from the fallout of the clerical sexual abuse scandal, which saw thousands of new cases in Europe and beyond come to light last year.

John Paul, though, did not escape scrutiny, since many of the cases concerned crimes or cover-ups that occurred under his watch.

Vatican officials have said there was nothing in John Paul's record that called into question his path to beatification.

Cardinal Jose Saraiva-Martins, the former head of the Vatican's saint-making office, said the beatification would be a "moment of joy" for the church which has been grieved not only by the abuse scandal but the persecution of Christians around the world.

"Something so joyful is certainly very important for the church," he told the AP.

Source : Times Live

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Moments with John Paul

With a Koala

Praying at the foot of the Papal Altar

Working Late into the Night

Reading the Bible en route

A Rare Image of the Pope Skiing

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Pope & The Queen

27 May 1982, London, England, UK --- During his first apostolic trip to the United Kingdom, Pope John Paul II meets Queen Elizabeth II. --- Image by © Fabian Cevallos/CORBIS SYGMA