The Catholic News website reports today (January 17, 2011) that Pope Benedict XVI approved a miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II's intercession, clearing the way for the late pope's beatification on May 1, 2011, Divine Mercy Sunday.
Pope Benedict's action on January 14 followed more than five years of investigation into the life and writings of the Polish pontiff, who died in April 2005 after more than 26 years as pope.
The Vatican said it took special care with verification of the miracle -- the spontaneous cure of a French nun from Parkinson's disease -- the same illness that afflicted Pope John Paul in his final years.
Pope John Paul's death and funeral brought millions of people to Rome. Vatican officials will soon be working with the City of Rome in logistical planning for the beatification.