The late Pope John Paul II was beatified and given the title ‘The Blessed’ in the Vatican on Saturday, and Bandra’s Mount Carmel Church plans to celebrate the event with a special gospel concert and a screening of the official ceremony on Sunday.
The church had postponed its annual Easter celebrations to coincide with this event, and held a religious vigil on Saturday evening with a screening of a video on the deceased Pope’s life.
“Pope John Paul II was popular world-wide because of his love for the youth, and specially for us because he visited India (in 1986),” said Father Warder D’Souza, a priest from Mount Carmel, which had adopted the Pope as the patron of its parish youth four years ago. In the Catholic church, beatification is one step below canonisation or the declaration of a deceased person as a saint. Those beatified have the capacity to intercede on behalf of the people who pray in his/her name. John Paul II is the first Pope to be beatified by his own successor, current Pope Benedict IV.
“This celebration is important for us because the youth needs to be reminded of how much the Pope loved us,” said Amanda Desales, 18, a member of the church’s youth group.