Only six years after his death, John Paul II will be beatiﬁed on May 1st. The miraculous healing of French Sr. Marie Simon Pierre Normanda has been ofﬁcially recognized and attributed to his intercession. The process which has led to the beatiﬁcation ofﬁciellement Karol Wojtyla is quite extraordinary since ﬁve years are usually required after death before starting a cause for beatiﬁcation. Nevertheless, Pope Benedict XVI recognized the "reputation of holiness" which surrounded John Paul II, even when he was still alive, and he decided to allow the cause of beatiﬁcation to begin just a few weeks after his death. The choice of May 1st was not by coincidence since the date this year marks the Second Sunday of Easter, which John Paul II called Divine Mercy Sunday. He also died on the vigil of that particular Sunday. The Philatelic Ofﬁce is celebrating this important day with a joint issue with Poland, the native land of Pope John Paul II. The series consists of a stamp which is part of a minisheet of six produced by Polish artist Marzanna Dabrowska, and of a stamp&coin card which contains the stamp issue and a 50 cent coin for 2011 depicting Pope Benedict XVI. Also to be released for this special occasion is a folder containing a minisheet, the stamp&coin card, and a cancelled envelope with the cancellation bearing the date of the beatiﬁcation.
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