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Special Feature
The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • New Pope Greets Church

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    Karol Wojtyla waves to waiting crowds in St. Peter's Square after being elected pope Oct. 16, 1978. (CNS file photo)

    Orange Fish
  • Pope in Popemobile

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    Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger ride in the popemobile during the late pontiff's visit to Germany in November 1980. (CNS from KNA)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope with Assailant

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    Pope John Paul II visits with his assailant, Mehmet Ali Agca. in a Rome prison Dec. 27, 1983. (CNS file photo by Arturo Mari)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope in Assisi

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    Pope John Paul II attends an interreligious ecounter in Assisi, Italy, in 1986. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope in Denver

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    Pope John Paul II is pictured in a 1993 photo during World Youth Day in Denver. (CNS photo/Joe Rimkus Jr.)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope and Mother Teresa Meet

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    Pope John Paul II greets Mother Teresa of Calcutta at the Vatican in June 1997. (CNS file photo by Arturo Mari)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope at the Holy Door

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    Pope John Paul II kneels at the open Holy Door before shutting the large bronze door in St. Peter's Basilica Jan. 6.

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope at Wailing Wall

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    Pope John Paul II places a prayer in a crevice of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, March 26, 2000. (CNS file photo by Arturo Mari)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope Prays Rosary

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    John Paul II prays the rosary Oct. 7, 2003, at the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Holy Rosary in the center of Pompeii, Italy. (CNS photo from Reuters)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope Prays

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    Pope John Paul II prays during a ceremony marking the opening of the Year of the Eucharist in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican Oct. 17, 2004. (CNS photo from Reuters)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope Blesses Crowd

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    Pope John Paul II blesses the crowd from his apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in 2005. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Tomb of Pope

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    Pope John Paul II's tomb is pictured in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in this Nov. 18, 2010, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II

Follow the links below for more on Blessed John Paul II.

Blessed John Paul II: Witness to Hope
from St. Anthony Messenger

Video Reflections on Blessed John Paul II's Impact

Coverage of the Beatification of John Paul II from Catholic News Service

Saint of the Day Pope John Paul II entry

From Our Archives

Share your own reflections on what John Paul II has meant to you. Please note that editors will review all posts before they are visible on the website.

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Louis of France: At his coronation as king of France, Louis IX bound himself by oath to behave as God’s anointed, as the father of his people and feudal lord of the King of Peace. Other kings had done the same, of course. Louis was different in that he actually interpreted his kingly duties in the light of faith. After the violence of two previous reigns, he brought peace and justice. 
<p>He was crowned king at 12, at his father’s death. His mother, Blanche of Castile, ruled during his minority. When he was 19 and his bride 12, he was married to Marguerite of Provence. It was a loving marriage, though not without challenge. They had 11 children. </p><p>Louis “took the cross” for a Crusade when he was 30. His army seized Damietta ini Egypt but not long after, weakened by dysentery and without support, they were surrounded and captured. Louis obtained the release of the army by giving up the city of Damietta in addition to paying a ransom. He stayed in Syria four years. </p><p>He deserves credit for extending justice in civil administration. His regulations for royal officials became the first of a series of reform laws. He replaced trial by battle with a form of examination of witnesses and encouraged the use of written records in court. </p><p>Louis was always respectful of the papacy, but defended royal interests against the popes and refused to acknowledge Innocent IV’s sentence against Emperor Frederick II. </p><p>Louis was devoted to his people, founding hospitals, visiting the sick and, like his patron St. Francis (October 4), caring even for people with leprosy. (He is one of the patrons of the Secular Franciscan Order.) Louis united France—lords and townsfolk, peasants and priests and knights—by the force of his personality and holiness. For many years the nation was at peace. </p><p>Every day Louis had 13 special guests from among the poor to eat with him, and a large number of poor were served meals near his palace. During Advent and Lent, all who presented themselves were given a meal, and Louis often served them in person. He kept lists of needy people, whom he regularly relieved, in every province of his dominion. </p><p>Disturbed by new Muslim advances in Syria, he led another crusade in 1267, at the age of 41. His crusade was diverted to Tunis for his brother’s sake. The army was decimated by disease within a month, and Louis himself died on foreign soil at the age of 44. He was canonized 27 years later.</p> American Catholic Blog God passes through the thicket of the world, and wherever His glance falls He turns all things to beauty. <br />–St. John of the Cross

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