Bangalore: Scores of Indian Christians,
including the clergy and followers, will participate in the
beatification ceremony of late Pope John Paul II to be held in
Vatican city in Rome on May 1.
Beatification, a step before one is declared a saint,
will be held by current Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop of
Bangalore Bernard Moras told reporters.
Moras, who had interacted with the late papal chief on
several occasions, would also be leaving for Rome to take part
in the ceremony which is expected to be attended by close to
three million people from across the globe.
Following the beatification, Pope John Paul second
would be addressed as `blessed`, he said, adding, the process
of beatification was the culmination of years of various
procedures laid down by the church, including the instance of
miracle which the church recognises and accepts.
Narrating his own experience with the Pope who visited
India on two occasions, he said, "He was one of the most
cordial Pope. He was approachable...He was very communicative,
full of energy and would hold your hand.
"I had the occasion to sit next to him twice, once
during a meal. I thought I was so fortunate.
"Whenever, we met he always recollected his India
visit. He knew a lot about India, the people, the languages,
The late Pope was well informed about India and had
also said Indian people were most hospitable, he said.
"When he came to India for the first time in 1986 he
was youthful, he was dynamic and conquered everyone`s heart.
People went to see him in lakhs and lakhs. But in the second
visit when he came, his health had begun declining, he found
it difficult, but was full of energy," he said.
In Karnataka the occasion will be celebrated by
holding a special mass during which 14 deacons will be
conferred the priestly ordination. The Archdiocesan community
centre would screen a documentary on the Pope during May.
Special symposiums will be organised on the occasion.
Programmes for the youth will be held in June and July since
the Pope was close to the youth.
Since Pope John Paul had been a worker prior to
becoming a priest, special workers day will be organised
during the year to mark in his honour.