Gunty is associate publisher/editor of the Catholic Review.

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Rite of Beatification: John Paul is "Blessed"

Though Karol Wojtyla spent the better part of his life and priesthood in Poland, his cause for beatification was led by the Diocese of Rome, which he led as bishop for more than a quarter century.

Today, the beatification rite will be led by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of the Diocese of Rome. At the beginning of the celebration, he asked the Holy Father to declare as Blessed the Servant of God John Paul II. He began in Latin with: "Most blessed Father, Your Holiness' Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome humbly asks Your Holiness to beneficently deign to inscribe the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II in the number of the Blessed."

He then read a fairly detailed biography of Karol Wojtyla, beginning with his 1920 birth in Wadowice, Poland, and ending with his death on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday 2005.

The biography, to be read in Italian, is printed in Italian and six other languages in the Mass booklet distributed along the via della Conciliazzione.

It closes with these words: "A touching testimony of his life was seen by the participation of delegations from all over the world and of millions of men and women, believers and non-believers alike, who recognized in him a clear sign of God's love for humanity."

In Latin, Cardinal Vallini then thanked Pope Benedict XVI, saying, "Most blessed Father, the Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome, gives thanks for conferring the title of Blessed to the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II."

The pope responded in Latin and formally declared John Paul II, pope, "Blessed" and set his feast day as Oct. 22 (the anniversary of his liturgical inauguration as pope in 1978).

From Vatican City, Christopher Gunty The Catholic Review

5/1/2011 3:01:29 AM
By Christopher Gunty