Sunday, May 1, 2011

Beatification of Pope John Paul II

Pope JPII long before he was Pope

Today, May 1, 2011, Pope John Paul II (born Karol Józef Wojtyła) was beatified. That is, he was declared a Blessed.

Beatification requires one attested miracle and allows the beatified person to be venerated by his/her local church. It requires more than just a miracle. A person's life (and writings where applicable) are looked into in great detail. The miracle that brought Pope JPII to Beatification happened to a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre. She was miraculously cured of Parkinson's disease.

After the Pope died (April 2, 2005), Sister's fellow nuns prayed for his intercession to help her. Non-Catholics might not be familiar with this type of intercession. Just as you might ask your living friends and family to pray for you, we ask our friends and family in Heaven to pray for us for they remain in the Body of Christ even in death.

Pope John Paul II

And it worked! God allowed a miracle through these nuns.

Sister Maria Simon-Pierre is quoted as saying, "I was healed on the night between June 2 and 3." She describes how she woke up with "a jolt" and felt "a great peace" and a "sense of wellness." Medical and Catholic experts declared her cured with no scientific explanation. So, in January of this year, Pope Benedict declared it a miracle. It only took a little over five years, but there you go. The Vatican doesn't move quickly on these things, nor should they. What looks to be a miracle might be a temporary recovery or have some natural cause. Sometimes there's downright fakery. More here for Sister's story.

Now, Blessed Pope John Paul II hasn't been declared a saint yet. Canonization, making one a saint, requires two attested miracles and allows veneration of that person by the universal church.

A little tid-bit (found here) you may want to know: Below the title Blessed is Venerable and below that is Servant of God.

Everything you want to know about declaring a Saint or a Blessed is found here at New Adent.

This book, Karol Wojtyla: Pope John Paul II - A Story For Children by Maksymilian Emil Bondyra is a wonderful introduction to the life of this Blessed Pope. We enjoy our copy.

Story of JPII

*Links to image sources embedded in image captions.

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