Beatification of the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II

04 May 2011

On Sunday 1 May 2011, Divine Mercy Sunday, John Paul II will be beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome.  Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland; Cardinal Desmond Connell, Archbishop Emeritus of Dublin; and Bishop John Buckley, Bishop of Cork and Ross, will participate in the beatification ceremony in St Peter’s Square. They will  be joined by priests and religious and an estimated two million pilgrims.

In Dublin, on 1 May, to mark this joyous occasion, a Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, in St Mary’s Pro Cathedral, at 6.30pm.

Interview with Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath

To celebrate the beatification, Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath – who was part of the organising committee for the visit of Pope John Paul II to Ireland in 1979 – has recorded a special audio interview with Brenda Drumm of the Catholic Communications Office. Bishop Smith shares his memories of the late Pope’s pastoral visit to Ireland: the planning and logistics involved; why Pope John Paul did not visit Northern Ireland; his special mention of Clonmacnois during his weekly audience after the visit concluded. Bishop Smith also talks about how Pope John Paul II’s early life shaped his papacy, how his words about Ireland turned out to be prophetic. He also talks about the witness he gave in his final illness and death and how strong an advocate he was for human dignity and life in all in stages. Finally, Bishop Smith shares his thoughts on the beatification process.

Click here to listen to the interview which is available in two parts:

Bishop Smith for website – part 1

Bishop Smith for website – part 2

Broadcast of the Beatification on 1 May 2011 by RTÉ and BBC

RTÉ 1 television will cover the beatification ceremony from St Peter’s Square in Rome, as Pope Benedict XVI beatifies his predecessor. Commentary will be by Father Dermod McCarthy with coverage beginning at 08.55am and concluding at 11.10am.

At 8.35am on Sunday 1 May RTÉ 1 television will show A Saint in the Making, a documentary remembering the life of Pope John Paul II, with contributions by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Sister Margaret McCurtin, Father Dermod McCarthy and Ms Gina Menzies. This will air just before the coverage of the beatification ceremony.

BBC broadcaster William Crawley will present two special programmes live from St Peter’s Square in Rome on 1 May: BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Programme from 07.10 to 07.55 and BBC Radio Ulster’s Sunday Sequence from 08.30 until 10.15. Contributors will include lay pilgrims, Cardinal Brady; Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster; papal biographers John Allen, Marco Politi, Carl Bernstein, David Willey and John Cornwell.  These broadcasts are also available on BBC digital, FM, Medium Wave and online.

Vigil Mass in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, on 30 April 2011

A special vigil Mass will be held in the College Chapel, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth at
7.30pm on Saturday 30 April to mark the beatification of John Paul II. Father Paul Prior will be the principal celebrant of the Mass which will be attended by the seminarians and staff of St Patrick’s College. The Mass will be followed by a Eucharistic Vigil until midnight.

During the Eucharistic Vigil a seminarian will read the text of the special address which Pope John Paul II delivered to seminarians during his visit to Maynooth in 1979.

Pope John Paul II and Ireland

To listen to a selection of the addresses and homilies of Pope John Paul II during his 1979 visit to Ireland – click here

To read all of his addresses and homilies in text format – click here

Memorial of Blessed John Paul II – 22 October

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has issued a decree establishing that the celebration of the memorial of Blessed John Paul II be inserted into the calendar of the diocese of Rome and the dioceses of Poland, and that it be celebrated every year.

Divine Mercy Sunday – 1 May 2011

Divine Mercy Sunday is the culmination of the novena to the Divine Mercy of Jesus, which begins on Good Friday, a devotion given to Saint Faustina (Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, 1905-1938) and is based upon an entry in her diary stating that anyone who participates in the Mass and receives the sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist on this day is assured by Jesus of full remission of their sins.

The Devotion to the Divine Mercy was actively promoted by John Paul II, who canonised the Polish Saint and visionary, Sr Faustina Kowalska on 30 April in the Jubilee Year of 2000, and designated the Second Sunday of Easter as the Sunday of the Divine Mercy in the General Roman Calendar.

Cardinal Brady said, “Divine Mercy Sunday is a feast that was very close to the heart of the John Paul II. It points us the wounds of Jesus’ Passion, especially the wound in His heart, the source of a great wave of mercy and love poured out on humanity. John Paul often said that, in the Eucharist, he was uniting his own sufferings with those of Christ.”