"VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI approved a miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II's intercession, clearing the way for the late pope's beatification on May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday.
Pope Benedict's action Jan. 14 followed more than five years of investigation into the life and writings of the Polish pontiff, who died in April 2005 after more than 26 years as pope.
The Vatican said it took special care with verification of the miracle, the spontaneous cure of a French nun from Parkinson's disease -- the same illness that afflicted Pope John Paul in his final years. Three separate Vatican panels approved the miracle, including medical and theological experts, before Pope Benedict signed the official decree."
For so many of us who grew up during John Paul II's papacy, the announcement of his impending beatification is a hugely anticipated event. His contributions to the Catholic Church are copious and continue to enrich the faith of all who read his writings and those who are fortunate enough to recall their interactions with this blessed man. I was able to see His Holiness from a distance at World Youth Day in Denver, 1993. It is a memory that I still recall with such clarity and gratitude...that I was able to see a saint in the making. I remember that he was so energized by young people, and his love for all of us was palpable in his homily at the final Mass.
We are living in a time of great opportunities for sanctity, and we are abundantly blessed to have Pope John Paul II to provide us with his great example of a life lived in the constant love, mercy and trust in God. John Paul II, pray for us!