At 9:00 a.m., the throng of pilgrims will join together in an hour of prayer, beginning with the Divine Mercy Chaplet and finishing with an invocation of mercy over the whole world.
The beatification ceremony and Mass will then be presided over by the Pope, with cardinals concelebrating. When the Pope pronounces John Paul II a "blessed" and thus one step closer to official sainthood, an enormous image of the Pope will be unveiled in the square.
For the enormous turnout - estimated at around 400,000 - there will be 14 "maxi-screens" set up in the square and down the street leading out of it so the faithful can follow along.
There will be 500 priests distributing communion to the faithful in St. Peter's Square and the outer Pius XII Square. Another 300 will be available to offer the Eucharist to those pilgrims who are expected to fill the street leading up to St. Peter's.
Churches around Rome will also offer communion during the beatification Mass for those who seek it.
A half hour after the Mass and following a visit from Pope Benedict and the cardinals to render him homage, John Paul II's coffin will be available for veneration within St. Peter's Basilica. The coffin, however, will not be opened.
It will remain in its place until the last person who wishes to see it has done so. Fr. Lombardi said that this could even mean that visits extend into May 2.
On May 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone will preside over the final moment of the beatification celebrations. He will preside over an open-air thanksgiving Mass in St. Peter's Square to wrap up the three-day spiritual journey.
One of the priests joining Cardinal Vallini and Fr. Lombardi at the April 5 press conference, Fr. Cesar Atuire of Opera Romana Pelligrinaggi, used the famous Italian words of John Paul II to invite all comers. For pilgrims who might come if not for perceived difficulties with accommodations or other services, he said, "Non abbiate paura!" (Do not fear!)
Costs are being kept down by an "ethics card" signed as a contract between organizers and local businesses to keep them honest.
"There is space for everyone and the organization we are putting in place will be able to serve all comers," concluded Fr. Atuire.
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Pilgrims, he said, can aid in the preparation process by registering online at www.beatusjpii.org.