PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This morning’s beatification was quite special for a Delaware County native who served the Vatican as its main English broadcast translator during the papacy of John Paul II. And he performed again today in Philadelphia.

The voice of Cardinal John Foley was standard for decades on Vatican TV. But for this beatification, he served as guest commentator on coverage aired KYW Newsradio and on CBS 3. Including the moment the Catholic world waited for, as John Paul’s successor, Benedict XVI, made the official declaration.

‘We by our Apostolic Authority, grant that the Venerable Servant of God…John Paul II, Pope, from this moment on be called Blessed.”

Foley is retired now and living in the Delaware Valley but spent his time recalling times spent with John Paul including his three visits to Philadelphia; the first two as a Cardinal from Poland and the last in 1979 as the Holy Father.

Watch The Entire Beatification Ceremony:

The Pope’s Body:

On Friday, John Paul’s II coffin was transferred from its crypt in the Vatican grotto and placed inside St. Peter’s Basilica.

The coffin will be taken to the Altar of Confession in the Basilica on Sunday morning, and it will remain closed until the end of Sunday’s beatification ceremony. At that time, there is expected to be a public viewing.

At the end of the mass, Pope Benedict and cardinals will pay their respects to John Paul II first. The faithful will then be let in to see the coffin. The body of Blessed John Paul II will be entombed near Michaelangelo’s “Pieta” (the sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Jesus in her arms).


For a little more history on John Paul II and his legacy, take a listen to some of these broadcasts…

PODCAST: “The Election of Pope John Paul II”
A special report broadcast in October of 1978. Then-KYW Newsradio reporter Richard Maloney covered the elections of both Pope John Paul and John Paul the Second. (Runs 13:00)

PODCAST: “The Papal Visit to Philadelphia”
Originally broadcast in 2005, KYW’s Bill Roswell looks back at the historic visit to Philadelphia by Pope John Paul II in October 1979. (Runs 8:42)

PODCAST: “The Death and Funeral of Pope John Paul II”
KYW Newsradio’s coverage of the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II. The report covers the period from April 1, 2005 (prior to the Pope’s death) to his funeral on April 8, 2005. (Runs 10:04)

PODCAST: “John Paul II’s Delaware Valley Legacy”
In this report originally broadcast in April 2005, KYW’s Bill Roswell examines the close relationship between Pope John Paul II and residents of the Delaware Valley. (Runs 8:52)

How Do You Become a Saint:

According to Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Associate Director for the University of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, the path to Sainthood consists of several complicated steps, including beatification.

In 1983, Pope John Paul II drastically changed those steps. It used to be that the process couldn’t even begin until 50 years after the person died. Now, it can begin five years after the person dies. In some cases — Pope John Paul II and Mother Theresa — the process can begin even sooner than five years.

A subject will first be declared “venerable,” and prayers for their intercession can begin. A panel of medical experts will examine “miracle” claims. If the medical experts see no explanation for the occurrence, a team of theologians will then examine the case. If they declare it a miracle, the subject will then become “beatified.”

Following beatification, another miracle will be necessary to canonize the person, thus making them a Saint.

Pope John Paul II changed the number of miracles for beatification and canonization from two each (four total) to one each (two total). In his time as Pope, John Paul II canonized more Saints than all of the Popes prior to him combined.

By Vince DeFruscio, CBS 3

See How the World Viewed John Paul II:

John Paul II as a Saint Maker…

John Paul II Visits Philadelphia…

For additional information on John Paul II:
The Biography of John Paul II

Crowds Expected for Papal Beatification in Rome

Pope Praises John Paul II Ahead of Beatification

Blood Taken From John Paul to Be Used As Relic

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