Pope Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II on Sunday before a large crowd that had gathered in St. Peter's Square and surrounding streets in Rome, moving the late pontiff one step closer to Roman Catholic sainthood.
Shortly after the start of the Mass that had gathered more than one million people, Benedict pronounced that from now on John Paul could be called "Blessed."
John Paul II, a predecessor of Pope Benedict XVI, died on April 2, 2005, at the age of 84. He was the second-longest documented pontificate, who headed the Catholic Church for 26 years.
ROME, May 1 (RIA Novosti)