02/19/2011, 00.00
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From May 1, the remains of John Paul II will be exposed for faithful

The Prefecture of the Papal Household announces the program for vigil, the beatification ceremony, thanksgiving mass and the veneration of relics by the faithful. It warns against paid tickets: access is totally free.

Vatican City (AsiaNews / Agencies) - From May 1, the day of his beatification, the remains of John Paul II will be exhibited for veneration in St. Peter's Basilica, before the Altar of the Confession, until all the faithful have had the opportunity to pray before them. The Vatican made the announcement as part of the drafted program for the beatification divided into five phases. It added that the tern “remains” refers to the coffin. Currently there are no plans to open the coffin or inspect the mortal remains.

1) A vigil will be held on the evening of Saturday, April 30 (20:00 to 21:00 hours: preparation; 21:00 to 22:30 hours: vigil), at Circus Maximus in Rome led by Cardinal. Agostino Vallini, Pope Benedict XVI’s vicar general for the diocese of Rome.  The Pope will link up live to the grounds via video link.

2) The beatification, Sunday, May 1 in St. Peter's Square, will begin at 10:00 and will be presided by the Holy Father. Participation is not regulated by individual tickets, but access to the square and adjacent areas will be controlled by the security services.

3) Immediately after the end of the beatification ceremony faithful will be allowed to venerate the remains of the newly blessed. The coffin will be on display in St Peter’s basilica, in front of the altar of the Confession.

4) Monday, May 2 there will be a Thanksgiving Mass at 10.30 am in St. Peter's Square. It will be chaired by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State.

5) The burial of the remains of the newly blessed in the Vatican Basilica, at the Chapel of St. Sebastian, will take place later in private.

A further problem is reported by the Prefecture of the Papal Household, informed of the existence of "improper deals”, particularly via the internet, of services and tickets for payment The Household points out that there is no need of tickets to attend the ceremonies for the beatification. In addition, tickets granted by the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, at pontifical ceremonies or general audiences, are always free, and no person or institution can demand any payment.

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