VATICAN CITY, JAN. 14, 2011 ( Benedict XVI is planning to preside over the beatification rite for John Paul II on May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday, in the Vatican.

A communiqué from the Congregation for Saints' Causes announced that today the Pope, in an audience with the congregation's prefect, Cardinal Angelo Amato, "authorized the dicastery to promulgate the decree of the miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Servant of God John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla)." 

This was the final step in the process preceding the beatification rite, which will be celebrated on Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day instituted by John Paul II. 

The communiqué noted: "It is well known that, by pontifical dispensation, his cause began before the end of the five-year period which the current norms stipulate must pass following the death of a Servant of God. 

"This provision was solicited by the great fame of sanctity which Pope John Paul II enjoyed during his life, in his death and after his death. 

"In all other ways, the normal canonical dispositions concerning causes of beatification and canonization were observed in full." 

The diocesan investigation into the cause for beatification of the Pontiff took place between June 2005 and April 2007. On Dec. 19, 2009, Benedict XVI authorized the promulgation of the decree on his predecessor's heroic virtue. 


The congregation then examined the report of a miraculous healing through the intercession of John Paul II: the cure from Parkinson's disease of Sister Marie Simon Pierre Normand of the Little Sisters of Catholic Motherhood. 

The reports of medical and legal experts on the French nun's healing were submitted to the dicastery for scientific examination last Oct. 21. 

The congregation noted that its experts, "having studied the depositions and the entire documentation with their customary scrupulousness, expressed their agreement concerning the scientifically inexplicable nature of the healing." 

Thus, on Dec. 14, the theological consulters began an evaluation of the case, and "unanimously recognized the unicity, antecedence and choral nature of the invocation made to Servant of God John Paul II, whose intercession was effective in this prodigious healing." 

On Tuesday, during the ordinary session of the congregation, the members expressed their "unanimous approval." 

The prelates expressed belief in the miraculous nature of the recovery of Sister Marie Simon Pierre, "having been achieved by God in a scientifically inexplicable manner following the intercession of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, trustingly invoked both by Sister Simon herself and by many other faithful." The conclusions were then submitted to Benedict XVI for approval.