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JPII-WEBSITE Feb-8-2011 (220 words) With photo. xxxi

Rome Diocese launches site dedicated to John Paul II's beatification


A woman in St. Peter's Square holds photos with the words "Blessed Pope John Paul II" in Italian as Pope Benedict XVI lead the Angelus prayer at the Vatican Jan. 16. The words and photos celebrate the Vatican's Jan. 14 announcement that Pope John Paul II will be beatified May 1. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- The Diocese of Rome launched a new website dedicated to the beatification and canonization of Pope John Paul II.

Published in seven languages, the site -- www.karol-wojtyla.org -- offers news updates and background information on the late pope and his sainthood cause, as well as a live webcam of his tomb in the grotto of St. Peter's Basilica.

The website also announced that the beatification ceremony in St. Peter's Square May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday, will be open to the public and no tickets will be required to attend.

The evening before the ceremony, April 30, there will be a prayer vigil at Rome's ancient Circus Maximus racetrack, it said.

The website offers the diocesan-approved prayer asking for graces through the intercession of Pope John Paul in 31 languages, including Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Swahili.

A miracle after Pope John Paul's beatification would be needed for his canonization, which is a church declaration that the person is a saint and worthy of universal veneration.

On Jan. 14, Pope Benedict XVI approved a first miracle attributed to the late pope's intercession, clearing the way for his beatification.

The approval came after more than five years of investigation into the life and writings of the Polish pontiff, who died in April 2005 after more than 26 years as pope.

END


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