By Ray Hershel
ROME (WGGB)–Final preparations were underway Saturday for Sunday’s Beatification Mass for the late Pope John Paul II.
A prayer vigil was held Saturday night at the Circus Maximus.
Among the groups who will attend the Beatification Mass is a group from the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass.
Fr. Stanislaus Michalenko is with the group. Fr. Michalenko knew John Paul, “My working daily with him and his assistant showed me what so many others have noticed, his great holiness and real caring for people and his ability to touch them all,” says Fr. Michalenko.
David Mack of Springfield, Illinois called Pope John Paul a hero, “Simply because John Paul II is probably the greatest hero in my life that I have ever known, each time he came to the United States I made sure I was there,” said Mack.
Sabina Garrison of Ludlow said Beatification is well deserved for Pope John Paul, “I just thought he was a very holy man, very prayerful man, a man who is a teacher for the world today and his memory will live forever because he has done so much for the church and ecumenism and youth evangelism around the world, ” says Garrison.
The feelings of love and admiration for John Paul are reflected by others in Rome including Fr. Richard Lamoreux of the Augustinian’s of the Assumption, “He certainly is deserving of it, you can agree or not agree with something he did but he was a human being who recognized Christ was important in his life and he tried to be as faithful as he possibly could to what Christ was asking of him,” says Fr. Lamoreux.