Pope Benedict XVI has today promulgated a decree recognising a miracle took place at the intercession of the Ven. John Paul II. The beatification ceremony will take place May 1st in Rome, presided by Benedict XVI.
The date, the Second Sunday of Easter, coincides with Divine Mercy Sunday - a Feast Day instituted by John Paul II. The late Pope died on the solemnity, on April 2, 2005.
The announcement of the beatification comes after five years of investigations into the life and works of the Polish Pontiff.
The full text of the decree can be found here.
The Vatican also announced today that Msgr. Nelson Baker (1842-1936), diocesan priest and businessman from Buffalo, N.Y., is to be declared Venerable.
Known as “Padre of the Poor”, he devoted his life to helping those less fortunate, founding an orphanage and maternity hospital and having the Our Lady of Victory basilica built in Lackawanna, N.Y.
A Vatican Radio interview with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, on John Paul II’s beatification can be found here.
Cardinal Amato says that despite the “fast-tracking” of the cause, there were “no corners cut with regard to the rigor and accuracy of procedure. The case was treated like any other, following all the steps prescribed by the law of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. On the contrary, if I may speak further to one of my first observations: precisely in order to honor the dignity and the memory of this great Pope, to avoid any doubt and overcome any difficulties, the case was subjected to particularly careful scrutiny.”
The Congregation’s official statement on the beatification (VIS):
According to a note released by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, “today 24 January, Benedict XVI, during an audience granted to Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, authorised the dicastery to promulgate the decree of the miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Servant of God John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla). This concludes the process which precedes the rite of beatification
“It is well known that, by pontifical dispensation, his cause began before the end of the five-year period which the current norms stipulate must pass following the death of a Servant of God. This provision was solicited by the great fame of sanctity which Pope John Paul II enjoyed during his life, in his death and after his death. In all other ways, the normal canonical dispositions concerning causes of beatification and canonisation were observed in full.
“Between June 2005 and April 2007 the principal diocesan investigation was held in Rome, accompanied by secondary investigations in various other dioceses, on his life, virtues, fame of sanctity and miracles. The juridical validity of these canonical processes was recognised by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints with a decree of 4 May 2007. In June 2009, having examined the relative ‘Positio’, nine of the dicastery’s theological consultors expressed their positive judgement concerning the heroic nature of the virtues of the Servant of God. The following November, in keeping with the usual procedure, the ‘Positio’ was submitted for the judgement of the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who gave their approval.
“On 19 December 2009, Benedict XVI authorised the promulgation of the decree on John Paul II’s heroic virtues.
“With a view to the beatification of the Venerable Servant of God, the postulator of the cause invited the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to examine the recovery from Parkinson’s disease of Sr. Marie Simon Pierre Normand, a religious of the ‘Institut des Petites Soeurs des Maternites Catholiques’.
“As is customary, the voluminous acts of the regularly-instituted canonical investigation, along with detailed reports from medical and legal experts, were submitted for scientific examination by the medical consultors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 21 October 2010. The experts of the congregation, having studied the depositions and the entire documentation with their customary scrupulousness, expressed their agreement concerning the scientifically inexplicable nature of the healing. On 14 December the theological consultors, having examined the conclusions reached by the medical experts, undertook a theological evaluation of the case and unanimously recognised the unicity, antecedence and choral nature of the invocation made to Servant of God John Paul II, whose intercession was effective in this prodigious healing.”