By Ray Hershel
ROME (WGGB)– More than a million people crowded into St. Peter’s Square on Sunday May 1st to witness the Beatification Mass for Pope John Paul II.
Pope Benedict celebrated the mass for the man he worked with for so long at the Vatican.
Among the highlights was the unveiling of a huge John Paul II tapestry and the placing of a vial of John Paul’s blood on the altar by the French nun whom John Paul is credited with curing of Parkinson’s disease.
Also making the trip to Rome was a group from the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass.
Father Stanislaus Michalenko was with the group, “Our community was the first in the U.S. to spread the devotion to Divine Mercy which became the hallmark of the Pope’s pontificate,” says Fr. Michalenko.
Other members of the Stockbridge group said Pope John Paul II was worthy of Beatification.
Rita Marie Phillips said John Paul was an inspiration, “He displayed great love for the whole world, he was an inspiration to me as a child and into adulthood,” says Phillips.
Gerry Griffin of Stowe, VT was thrilled to witness the Beatification, “He was a great Pope and in my mind will go down as one of the great Popes in history,” says Griffin.
Father Mark Baron of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception called Pope John Paul II a role model, “Truly a Pope for all and that makes him an amazing man because he had such a heart for God and God is really a God for all,” said Fr. Baron.