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John Paul II set to be beatified on May 1, 2011

john paul ii

In the canonization process, beatification is the third of the four steps. A person who is beatified is given the title "Blessed".

John Paul II is slated  to be beatified on May 1. This important announcement was announced by the Vatican Friday, after Pope Benedict XVI signed an official decree.

Pope  Benedict agreed to the beatification because of John Paul II’s "imposing reputation for saintliness… in life, in death and after death," the Vatican said in a statement.

The process of beatifying a pope is usually lengthy, but calls for John Paul II to be canonized came immediately after his death in 2005.

Based on  tradition, the remains of popes who are beatified are moved up from the crypt to the nave of the basilica.

Preparations are being executed in the Chapel of St. Sebastian, on the right-hand side of the nave, between the Chapel of Michelangelo’s Pieta and the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament.