Currents News Staff
Ten years ago one of the most significant ceremonies ever took place, the beatification of John Paul II. Some 1.5 million pilgrims traveled to Rome for the ceremony on May 1, 2011.
“I came because I felt something wonderful, and the two times I was close to him were beautiful moments,” said one pilgrim.
Many camped out near St. Peter’s to be the first to enter the square. “Africa, we come from Africa, from very far away because he was a great man of God. The Pope came to Nigeria and now we came to Rome,” added another pilgrim.
At five in the morning, the police began letting them in. Shortly after, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims were gathered around the Vatican.
There were 87 delegations from around the world, including seven heads of government, 16 heads of state and five royal households then entered the square. The ceremony began at 10 in the morning.
The Polish nun who cared for John Paul II until his death and the French nun who was miraculously cured of Parkinson’s through his intercession, presented Benedict XVI with a relic of his predecessor.
After the Mass, the Pope and cardinals prayed before the remains of the new Blessed. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims were also able to approach the coffin.
A few days later, John Paul II’s remains were transferred to the Chapel of St. Sebastian inside of St. Peter’s Basilica, where they continue to rest today.
His tomb has become one of the most visited places in the Vatican.