May 1st, 2011
10:02 AM ET

Pope John Paul II declared 'blessed' before huge crowds

Vatican City (CNN) - Catholic faithful from around the world poured into Rome on Sunday as the Catholic Church declares Pope John Paul II "blessed," a step below sainthood.

There were cheers as Pope Benedict XVI personally beatified his predecessor, and a huge tapestry protrait of John Paul II was unveiled, showing him as the healthy, vigorous and relatively young man he was early in his papacy.

A vial of John Paul II's blood was placed before the crowds, which were expected to be the largest in the Vatican since the late pope's funeral in 2005.

Read the full story of the pope's beatification

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Miracles • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. JEN


    May 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  2. Jason from NY

    Vivia Papa, long live the Pope!

    May 5, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  3. Elite

    The pope is ugly. This video is more interesting than the pope [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjnltxaPDyE&w=640&h=390]

    May 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  4. Muneef

    As one said phony babble balcony .....what ever that means heavensent ???

    May 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  5. mao

    Another Shame on the Catholic Church. NO Santo Subito!
    John Paul II may have been a good man, but he wasn't a role model for Christianity when he did not protected thousands of children who were abused. In fact, in the US in many states if he wasn't the Pope he could have faced charges against him for not reporting the abuse that he had knowledge of.

    May 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • gerald

      And your proof that he had such knowledge???? Waiting... Waiting.....

      May 3, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  6. Damien

    Joseph Ratzinger is a Nazi...... look up the name

    May 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • .

      Yeah, sure. He was in the Hitler Youth as a young kid. Old news...

      May 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • gerald

      Nope he never belonged to the nazi party. He belonged to the Hitler Youth when he was 14. Big deal. All german boys that age were required to join and he deserted it later. Would you want to be held accountable for everything you did at 14 and have it rubbed in your face the rest of your life? Probably not.

      May 3, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  7. Muneef

    [6:36] The only ones to respond are those who listen. GOD resurrects the dead; they ultimately return to Him.

    [6:37] They said, "If only a certain sign could come down to him from his Lord!" Say, "GOD is able to send down a sign, but most of them do not know."

    Animals and Birds: Submitting Creatures*
    [6:38] All the creatures on earth, and all the birds that fly with wings, are communities like you. We did not leave anything out of this book**. To their Lord, all these creatures will be summoned.

    Overwhelming Miracle of the Quran
    [6:39] Those who reject our proofs are deaf and dumb, in total darkness. Whomever GOD wills, He sends astray, and whomever He wills, He leads in a straight path.

    [6:40] Say, "What if GOD's retribution came to you, or the Hour came to you: would you implore other than GOD, if you are truthful?"

    [6:41] The fact is: only Him you implore, and He answers your prayer, if He so wills, and you forget your idols.

    [6:42] We have sent (messengers) to communities before you, and we put them to the test through adversity and hardship, that they may implore.

    [6:43] If only they implored when our test afflicted them! Instead, their hearts were hardened, and the devil adorned their works in their eyes.

    The System*
    [6:44] When they thus disregard the message given to them, we open for them the gates of everything. Then, just as they rejoice in what was given to them, we punish them suddenly; they become utterly stunned.

    [6:45] The wicked are thus annihilated. Praise be to GOD, Lord of the universe.

    God Alone Worthy of Worship
    [6:46] Say, "What if GOD took away your hearing and your eyesight, and sealed your minds; which god, other than GOD, can restore these for you?" Note how we explain the revelations, and note how they still deviate!

    [6:47] Say, "What if GOD's retribution came to you suddenly, or after an announcement, is it not the wicked who incur annihilation?"

    Role of the Messengers
    [6:48] We do not send the messengers except as deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who believe and reform have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    [6:49] As for those who reject our revelations, they incur the retribution for their wickedness.

    [6:50] Say, "I do not say to you that I possess the treasures of GOD. Nor do I know the future. Nor do I say to you that I am an angel. I simply follow what is revealed to me." Say, "Is the blind the same as the seer? Do you not reflect?"

    [6:51] And preach with this (Quran) to those who reverence the summoning before their Lord – they have none beside Him as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor – that they may attain salvation.

    [6:52] And do not dismiss those who implore their Lord day and night, devoting themselves to Him alone. You are not responsible for their reckoning, nor are they responsible for your reckoning. If you dismiss them, you will be a transgressor.

    [6:53] We thus test the people by each other, to let them say (mockingly), "Are these the people among us who are blessed by GOD?" Is GOD not aware of the appreciative ones?

    [6:54] When those who believe in our revelations come to you, you shall say, "Salmun `Alaykum (Peace be upon you). Your Lord has decreed that mercy is His attribute. Thus, anyone among you who commits a transgression out of ignorance, and repents thereafter and reforms, then He is Forgiving, Most Merciful."

    [6:55] We thus explain the revelations, and point out the ways of the wicked.

    [6:56] Say, "I am forbidden from worshipping what you worship besides GOD." Say, "I will not follow your opinions. Otherwise, I will go astray, and not be guided."

    [6:57] Say, "I have solid proof from my Lord, and you have rejected it. I do not control the retribution you challenge me to bring. Judgment belongs with GOD alone. He narrates the truth, and He is the best judge."

    [6:58] Say, "If I controlled the retribution you challenge me to bring, the whole matter would have been terminated long ago. GOD knows best who the wicked are."

    Almighty God
    [6:59] With Him are the keys to all secrets; none knows them except He. He knows everything on land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls without His knowledge. Nor is there a grain in the depths of the soil. Nor is there anything wet or dry, that is not recorded in a profound record.

    Death and Resurrection: Every Day*
    [6:60] He is the One who puts you to death during the night, and knows even the smallest of your actions during the day. He resurrects you every morning, until your life span is fulfilled, then to Him is your ultimate return. He will then inform you of everything you had done.

    [6:61] He is Supreme over His creatures, and He appoints guards to protect you. When the appointed time of death comes to any of you, our messengers put him to death without delay.

    [6:62] Then everyone is returned to GOD, their rightful Lord and Master. Absolutely, He is the ultimate judge; He is the most accurate Reckoner.

    [6:63] Say, "Who can save you from the darkness of the land or the sea?" You implore Him loudly and secretly: "If He saves us this time, we will be eternally appreciative."

    [6:64] Say, "GOD does save you this time, and other times as well, then you still set up idols besides Him."

    [6:65] Say, "He is certainly able to pour upon you retribution from above you, or from beneath your feet. Or He can divide you into factions and have you taste each others' tyranny. Note how we explain the revelations, that they may understand."

    [6:66] Your people have rejected this, even though it is the truth. Say, "I am not a guardian over you."

    [6:67] Every prophecy herein will come to pass, and you will surely find out.

    Respect for the Word of God
    [6:68] If you see those who mock our revelations, you shall avoid them until they delve into another subject. If the devil causes you to forget, then, as soon as you remember, do not sit with such evil people.

    [6:69] The righteous are not responsible for the utterances of those people, but it may help to remind them; perhaps they may be saved.

    [6:70] You shall disregard those who take their religion in vain, as if it is a social function, and are totally absorbed in this worldly life. Remind with this (Quran), lest a soul may suffer the consequences of its evil earnings. It has none beside GOD as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor. If it could offer any kind of ransom, it would not be accepted. They suffer the consequences of the evil works they earn; they have incurred hellish drinks, and a painful retribution because of their disbelief.

    [6:71] Say, "Shall we implore, beside GOD, what possesses no power to benefit us or hurt us, and turn back on our heels after GOD has guided us? In that case, we would join those possessed by the devils, and rendered utterly confused, while their friends try to save them: `Stay with us on the right path.' " Say, "GOD's guidance is the right guidance. We are commanded to submit to the Lord of the universe.

    [6:72] "And to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and to reverence Him – He is the One before whom you will be summoned (for the reckoning)."

    [6:73] He is the One who created the heavens and the earth, truthfully. Whenever He says, "Be," it is. His word is the absolute truth. All sovereignty belongs to Him the day the horn is blown. Knower of all secrets and declarations, He is the Most Wise, the Cognizant. 

    Abraham Debates With Idol Worshipers
    [6:74] Recall that Abraham said to his father Azar, "How could you worship statues as gods? I see that you and your people have gone far astray."

    May 2, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • Youwho

      Muneef, essential content of your post:

      [1:23]Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo. Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo. Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo. Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo.

      [4:56]Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo. Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo. Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo. Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo.

      [7:89]Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo. Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo. Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo. Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo.

      [1:23]Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo. Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo. Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo. Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo.

      and so on.

      May 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Reality

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls to include that of Arsalan Iftikhar – Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism at your request.

      May 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • gerald

      Ah the reality we know and love. Back to mindless cutting pasting name dropping blah blah blah. Anybody read his jibberish?

      May 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  8. Reality

    Reiteration is a great tool for the learning process.

    And it is all vitiated by the fact that there never was nor ever will be any physical resurrection of human bodies i.e. no Resurrection, no Christianity and therefore worthless time spent beatifying anyone.

    May 2, 2011 at 7:19 am |
  9. Amalia Sheran Sharm

    This weekend has seen a royal wedding, a monster slain, and an evil cleric's rise in status. It's like I'm watching Star Wars.

    May 2, 2011 at 4:27 am |
    • ASS

      @Amalia...You have a long name but your post abbrviates it ASS what it is. LOL!

      May 4, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  10. ICEMAN

    TELL YOU WHAT , LOL THIS IS FUNNY WHAT IS THE POPE TI..TLE IN LATIN? VICAR OF CHRIST which in Latin is VICARIUS FILII DEI, since we are talking about Latin you can add it up , SO go ahead and tell me what you get? After that you need to look up the beast with 7 heads and the vadican, compared to how many hills it sits on i mean you have to read and understand Revalations but if you do it will show you WHO THE HELL TO LOOK OUT FOR....

    May 2, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • gerald

      ow do you get Christ out of Die?. Christi is Christ. Your phrase was never a phrase for the pope.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  11. CheekyClare

    'RDawkins' – taking on the avatar of Mr Atheism who hates believers? Your views shock me. 🙂 Given that its Christ's church on earth, you'll be sad to know that it will be here for eternity. God bless.

    May 2, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • ICEMAN

      @ Cheeky Clare, did you know Judas had a gospel, and it is as old or even older than the 4 we have today. As a matter of fact their were as many as 30 something BUT a Roman Empire named Lienaeus SAID THAT they were only 4. Amd what made him come to that conclusion? BECAUSE THEIR ARE 4 DIRECTIONS, 4 SIDES OF THE EARTH, AND SOME OTHER DUMB CRAP ONLY A CATHOLIC CAN COME UP WITH. All other books were burned and banned, if you got caught reading them then you were, well you know how yall used to do it. YOUR CHURCH GOT STARTED BY KILLING PEOPLE IN THE NAME OF JESUS, so it's root is evil cause (Yeshua's) Jesus black name, BEFORE THE RCC CHANGED HIS NAME AND COLOR, his church was being persecuted. See the difference, Yes he's a catholic saint BUUUUT that all he is he aint a saint from Christ church. HOW YOU LOVE THAT!!!

      May 2, 2011 at 2:05 am |
    • airwx

      @ Iceman... The Gospel of Judas and all the other "lost books" of antiquity that you refer to that come to us via the Nag Hamadi library are not Christian in origin, therefore have no reason to be included in the Bible. these books are Gnostic in origin and were written by those who wished to co-opt the Christ figure as they had many other religious icons, gods etc for over 1500 years.

      May 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  12. CheekyClare

    I am astonished at the ignorance, lack of respect, and clear bigotry of many of the posted comments.

    No doubt the Catholic church in 2000 years has, as with ALL things which is entrusted to humans, failed many times. Even the original 12 disciples had Judas amongst them. 'Tis the state of humankind – the Church is not special in that regard.

    Pope John Paul II is Blessed because of the individual life he led – he was a man of faith, action, and compassion.

    A man who inspired millions of young people as a young priest, a bishop and a Pope with World Youth Day. He sought reconciliation with the Jewish world, and opened a dialogue with other faiths. He reached out a hand with whom he did not agree – like Castro – in order to help bring justice to the world.

    A man who had to become a priest in hiding because you couldn't be a Catholic – or practice ANY religion – in the Atheist state of Poland within which he grew up. He was instrumental in bringing down the Soviet Union and bringing freedom to Poland, and other states.

    Put aside your Catholic hate mongering for just a moment, read, and consider the REAL actions of this man over a lifetime.

    And if you aren't Catholic or clearly hate the Catholic church regardless of what it does, then leave your bigotry at home. He's a CATHOLIC saint.

    May 2, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • RDawkins

      He's another black mark in Catholic history.

      May 2, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • RDawkins

      How many more decades will this religion control and abuse people?

      May 2, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • tallulah13

      Perhaps I can't see the compassion of forbidding birth control to people who had no way to feed the children that are born as a result of this ban. Perhaps I can't find wisdom in denying condoms to populations already decimated by AIDS. Perhaps I can't see the holiness in the protection of child abusers - maybe your "saint" didn't know about the abuse, but he should have. It was his responsibility to know what went on inside the church he lead.

      You may think he's wonderful, but those of us who don't look at him through religion-colored glasses see the very real harm that was and is done by the catholic church. His leadership perpetuated many evils, so you'll have to pardon me if I see the rush to sainthood for this flawed man as propaganda to hide the damage done in the name of the catholic church.

      May 2, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    • gerald


      And I am being controlled and abused how?

      May 3, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  13. ICEMAN

    CNN is Horrible for talking through it, lol they should've blacked it out so you wouldn't have to watch such evil.... If you compare all the signs of Babylon, and the Antichrist, and the beast in Revelation then you will come up with one Group, THE RCC.............

    May 1, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • gerald

      Yes, aren't all those food shelfs and homes for the poor and caring for the sick and schools etc. etc. evil. And isn't bringing the name of Christ to every nation in the world evil. Your church didn't do it. The CC did it.

      May 2, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Normon

      hmm... carry the 2... factor in the 6s ... subtract the number of teeth Marduk's dragon had... yep, it's...

      The Donald!

      May 2, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  14. john

    As a prior winner of the find the pope in the pizza contest I am glad he has been beautified, he looked horrible.

    May 1, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  15. john


    May 1, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • CheekyClare

      Not if your Catholic – and if you're not and don't care, then don't watch.

      May 2, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • Bob Headers

      it has meaning to the pedophiles. He will be the patron saint of pedophiles now.

      May 6, 2011 at 4:57 am |
  16. SPalin

    Who needs the Pope? David Koresh will someday return to save us all.


    May 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.