Anyone up for a trip to Rome this fall?
Whispers reports that the announcement of the planned beatification of Pope John Paul II is imminent:
Under the headline, “The cardinals OK the miracle, Wojtyla will be beatified,” the most reliable of vaticanisti –Andrea Tornielli of Il Giornale – revealed that the cardinal-members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints voted yesterday to affirm the finding of the dicastery’s medical board that no natural explanation could be found for the healing of a French nun from Parkinson’s disease, the same condition which ravaged the Polish Pope in the final act of his monumental 27-year reign.
With the miracle approved, all that remains is for Pope Benedict to accept the conclusion — something which would normally take place in a routine private audience with the prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal Angelo Amato, which could occur within days. Preparations would then begin in earnest for what will inevitably end up being the Vatican’s biggest gathering since the late pontiff’s 2005 funeral, which drew 5 million people to Rome; according to Tornielli, the formal beatification rites could take place in the fall, with 16 October — the anniversary of John Paul’s 1978 election (and, conveniently, a Sunday this year) — cited as the most likely date.
Later Rocco writes on the challenge of choosing a feast day.
One question that does remain open is the matter of selecting a feast day for the reported Blessed-in-waiting. As the 2 April anniversary of John Paul’s death often falls within Holy Week or the Octave of Easter — and, as such, would see the feast frequently wiped off the calendar — it’s more than likely that a different date would at least be considered, much as Blessed John XXIII is commemorated on 11 October (the opening-date of Vatican II) and Blessed John Henry Newman is now celebrated two days earlier, on the anniversary of his 1845 reception into the Catholic fold.