Faithful attending the beatification of Pope John Paul II in Rome will be able to pray before his coffin, which will be exhumed for the event, the Vatican said on Friday.
The Vatican also warned the faithful around the world not to fall prey to fraudsters, particularly on the Internet, who are selling tickets to the beatification ceremony on May 1.
“For the beatification Mass of Pope John Paul , as made clear from the outset, no tickets are required,” the Vatican said.
It said people should also steer clear of tour operators promising to procure tickets as part of their packages.
Italian authorities and Church officials say perhaps more than a million people may attend the mass at which John Paul, who died in 2005, will be declared a blessed of the Church and move one step closer to sainthood.
To be beatified, a dead person must be declared by the Church to have prompted a miracle. The Church says a 49-year-old French nun was miraculously cured of Parkinson’s disease months after John Paul’s death after she and fellow nuns prayed to him.
For John Paul to become a saint, the Church must declare that a second miracle occurred after the beatification ceremony.
Crowds at John Paul’s funeral on April 8, 2005 chanted “Santo subito!” (“Make him a saint right now!”).