Beatification schedule of Pope John Paul II

A schedule has been released by the Vatican, outlining the order and dates of events regarding the beatification of Pope John Paul II. The event, which will last from April 30 until May 2 of this year will consist of 5 separate ceremonies.

April 30, 2011, evening

On Saturday evening the celebrations will start at the Circus Maximus with a prayer vigil. The vicar of Rome will preside, while Pope Benedict XVI will participate by means of a video link to the Vatican itself.

May 1, 2011, 10AM

The actual beatification ceremony will start. No tickets will be required for this event, which is to be presided by the present pope himself. Several million people are expected to show up though, so it’s a bit hard to imagine how they are all going to fit into Saint Peter’s Square.

May 1, 2011, right after the beatification

The Pope’s coffin will have been exhumed and his remains will be exposed in front of the Altar of Confession inside the Basilica. He will stay there for “as long as the faithful will go on arriving”.

May 2, 2011

There will be a Thanksgiving mass in Saint Peter’s Square

May 2, 2011

During a private ceremony, the remains of John Paul II (or really, Blessed John Paul II by then) will be re-interred near the doorway of the Basilica, in the Chapel of St. Sebastian.

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