Late pope beatified in biggest event at Vatican since his funeral in 2005; search on for second miracle.
Pope John Paul II. Getty Images
The late pope John Paul II was beatified in a three-hour ceremony on Sunday in the biggest event hosted by the Vatican since two million people attended his funeral six years ago.
An estimated 1.5 million people flocked to St Peterís Square to watch Pope Benedict XVI declare his Polish predecessor "blessed" in a display of religious pomp watched on television and the Internet by millions around the world.
The Pope approved the beatification, the fastest in modern times, after Vatican experts ruled that the "miraculous" recovery of a French nun from Parkinsonís disease was attributable to John Paulís intercession from beyond the grave. The search is now on for a second miracle that, after scrutiny by doctors and Vatican theologians, would enable the Polish pontiff to be canonized.
John Paulís millions of admirers remember him for his charisma, his survival of an assassination attempt in 1981 and his pivotal role in challenging Communism during the Cold War.
In an apparent reference to his defiance of Communist regimes and his support for the Polish Solidarity movement, Pope Benedict said his predecessor "turned back with the strength of a titan . a tide that appeared irreversible."
In another tribute, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the vicar general of the diocese of Rome, told the massed crowds that John Paul was "feared by those who regarded him as an adversary."
The ceremony, which began under grey skies but ended in a blaze of sunshine, was attended by cardinals, the representatives of five royal families, and 16 heads of state.
They included Robert Mugabe, the leader of Zimbabwe, who despite being subject to international travel bans was given permission by the European Union to fly to Rome to attend. A Vatican spokesman said Mugabe could not be prevented from attending the ceremony because the Holy See had diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe.
The beatification was seen as an opportunity to repair the Churchís image and raise morale among believers.
Pilgrims from around the world, including a huge contingent of Poles from the late popeís homeland, waved flags and cheered throughout the ceremony, with some breaking down in tears of joy.
A huge tapestry of a smiling John Paul was unveiled at the front of St Peterís Basilica as Pope Benedict received a silver reliquary holding a vial of the late popeís blood. It will remain in the Vatican and become an object of veneration for the faithful.
Hundreds of thousands of Catholics filed into St Peterís at the end of the ceremony to pay their respects before John Paulís simple wooden coffin. The first non-Italian pope in 455 years when he was elected in 1978, John Paul II brought new vitality to the Vatican but alienated many Roman Catholics with his conservative social views on homosexuality, birth control, euthanasia and AIDS.
There were also uncomfortable questions about his alleged failure to tackle the issue of pedophile priests, a scandal that has deepened under Pope Benedictís six year papacy.
Europe 2020 2015-05-27 4:13
YouTube Description: Europe is changing and not for the better. We can change this if we act now.
Source: The European Guardian
Rome's Arch of Titus Now Represents a Jewish Triumph 2015-05-27 2:48 Though not on a par with the universally recognizable Colosseum, the Arch of Titus remains one of the most iconic relics from Rome's ancient imperial glory days. The grand arch is located just south-east of the Roman Forum (main center of ancient Rome). It was opened in 82 AD by the Roman Emperor Domitian, shortly after the death of ...
IQ, Psy Ops and the "Civilization" of the Scam 2015-05-27 2:27
Cognitive dissonance is the firewall that exists in most minds when confronted with a challenge to their basic beliefs about the world. As it is human nature to avoid admitting being in error or having been duped, for most humans the ego zealously flees the admission to oneself of significant error.Challenges to our worldviews or paradigms of belief are also ...
"Europe Could be Overrun with White South Africans" 2015-05-26 23:05 Edited by Red Ice
Dear Madam Merkel: We want our brothers and sisters to come home!
Hundreds of thousands of sub-Saharan Africans are pouring into Europe, stressing the economy and social services, causing insane rates of crime and threatening to crush society in its entirety. Arab Moslems also continue to pour in under the guise of "asylum‚ÄĚ and are continuing to threaten ...
Increasing Cosmic Rays 2015-05-26 23:35
Driving Force in Climate Changes, Volcanos and Earthquakes
Back in 1996 Danish physicists suggested that cosmic rays, energetic particles from space, are important in the formation of clouds. Since then, experiments in Copenhagen and elsewhere have demonstrated that cosmic rays actually help small clusters of molecules to form. By firing a particle beam into a cloud chamber, physicists in Denmark and ...