.- The Diocese of Rome launched a new website in honor of the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1.
The site, Karol-Wojtyla.org, is published in seven languages and offers news updates and background information on the late Pope and his cause for canonization.
In addition to showing a live webcam of pontiff's tomb in the grotto of St. Peter’s Basilica, the site also provides a diocesan-approved prayer for the intercession of John Paul II in 31 languages including Arabic, Russian, Swahili and Chinese.
The website also announced that the much-anticipated beatification ceremony will be open to the public and no tickets will be required to attend.
In what some have called record time, the late Pope's cause sped through the initial trials to prove his sainthood.
At Pope Benedict's bidding, norms stipulating that causes for possible saints begin five years after the individual's death were waived. His cause, as those of others Popes and special cases, also leapfrogged others in what is usually a "first in, first examined" process.
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi assured at a Jan. 14 press conference announcing the beatification that "each of the legislative steps of the inquiry have been fulfilled, they have been taken with care. They have not been facilitated, rather the cause has proceeded with great attention and fidelity."
Pope John Paul II’s cause is also extraordinary in the history of the Church because it will be his immediate successor to preside over the ceremony.
His beatification on May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday, will be celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square. Fr. Lombardi explained that the choice is full of significance for the late Pope, who died just a day before the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005.