.- The Archdiocese of San Jose, Costa Rica is hoping to draw 45,000 people for a John Paul II beatification celebration.
The 11 hour event will include prayer, music and videos of the late Pope. The crowd will also be able to watch the beatification live on television screens at a local stadium.
Jeison Granados, director of Radio Fides at the Archdiocese of San Jose told CNA that the festivities will begin at 5 p.m. (local time) on April 30 and will end at 6 a.m. on May 1.
The vigil will include prayer, song and traditional dance, as well as the recitation of the rosary and videos on the life of John Paul II. Several of the homilies the late Pope gave during his visit to Costa Rica will also be displayed on the giant screens.
“We will follow the beatification Mass live from Rome at 3 a.m. local time, through a direct link with the Vatican,” Granados said.
He encouraged Costa Ricans from across the country to attend the celebration. “We are a Catholic country, and if we could fill this stadium to see celebrities like Shakira or Argentinean soccer star Lionel Messi, then we want Catholics to do the same for an event as important as this.”
After the beatification, the Apostolic Nuncio to Costa Rica, Archbishop Pierre Nguyên Van Tot will celebrate Mass at 9 a.m. Numerous civil leaders are expected to attend.