John Paul II's Feast Day Is Oct. 22

Memorial to Be Observed in Rome, Poland

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 11, 2011 ( Pope John Paul II’s liturgical memorial will be observed every Oct. 22 in Rome and Poland, according to a decree issued today by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The decree, which acknowledged the “exceptional character” of the Pontiff’s beatification, regulates the public liturgical observance, also known as the “cult,” of the soon-to-be Blessed John Paul II. The Pontiff’s beatification will take place May 1 in the Vatican.

Even though Mass of thanksgiving following a beatification are normally limited to the places where the blessed lived or worked, the Vatican has granted permission for local Churches around the world to celebrate a thanksgiving Mass during the year following the Pontiff’s beatification.

The date for the thanksgiving Mass is to be selected by the diocesan bishop for his diocese, and by the general superior for religious congregations and orders, but it must take place before May 1, 2012.

An Oct. 22 liturgical memorial will be automatically inserted into the liturgical calendars of the Diocese of Rome and the dioceses of Poland, and other local churches and religious families may request permission to do the same.

For those churches where a liturgical memorial is observed, a church may be named after John Paul II, but in other dioceses an indult must be granted by the Vatican.

The decree also published the text of the opening prayer to be used in the liturgical memorial and the Masses of thanksgiving.

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