Statement of Malacanang on the Beatification of Pope John Paul II

Statement from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson:
On the Beatification of Pope John Paul II in Rome on Sunday, May 1, 2011
[Released on May 2, 2011]
Pope John Paul IIThe President joins the Filipino people—Catholic and non-Catholic alike—on the proclamation of Pope John Paul II as Blessed, which permits his veneration by the Catholic faithful. The late Pope John Paul II was held in deep affection by the Filipino people, who welcomed his choice of making the Philippines his first papal visit to Asia in 1981.
Because of the late Pope’s strong stand for freedom for oppressed people everywhere, the government of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos went through the motions of formally revoking martial law. During that historic visit, John Paul II spoke up for Social Justice and reminded the powerful that “no one is exempt from personal responsibility.”
President Aquino believes no one can forget the 1995 World Youth Day celebrations in Manila, which drew a gathering of five million, considered one of the largest, if not the largest, gatherings of people in history.
The President expressed the hope that the life and virtues of Pope John Paul II will continue to serve as an inspiration to Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The late Pope was deeply interested in ecumenism; in the frank but mutually respective dialogues between people of different faiths and even non-faith; in Social Justice; he was a voice for the oppressed and downtrodden, and of the relevance of spiritual values in an increasingly complex world.
In joining the Filipino people on the occasion of John Paul II’s Beatification, which is likely to be the next step to his Canonization, or proclamation as a Saint, the President conveys his deep belief in the enduring value of those who display heroic virtues as models for the spiritual and moral growth of young people the world over, who are looking for role models to emulate.
Beatification requires one miracle attributed to the intercession of the candidate. The miracle approved by Pope Benedict XVI concerns a 49-year-old French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001 and whose order prayed to John Paul II after his death in 2005 for help. In June 2005, reportedly after Sister Marie-Simone wrote the late Pope’s name on a piece of paper one night, she awoke the next morning cured and was able to resume her work as maternity nurse.