Last week, the former pope John Paul II (formerly known in Poland as Karol Wojtyla) was deified – no, wait, beatified. Sorry. But here in Poland, he might as well have been deified – in fact, this deification might as well have occurred at least a decade ago. Wikipedia tells me that beatification is the third step on the way to sainthood (again, something that in the case of JP2 and Poland, seems to have already happened), and after beatification, it is acceptable to venerate the individual. Wikipedia has also informed me of the existence of something called “cultus confirmation”, which is similar to beatification except that it’s done in cases where the individual has a local “cult following” – which might be more appropriate in this place, considering the rather tenuous nature of his “miracles” (come on, a Polish child suddenly able to walk after visiting his tomb? I’d believe that as much as I’d believe Iran denying nuclear ambitions…).
The local convent decided to really deck itself out for the occasion. In each window, they had a different picture of JP2 in various poses (see below). There was also a Vatican-esque flag, with the Vatican crest replaced by…yep, you guessed it – a picture of JP2. Most of the travel agencies have also been offering package deals to “Beatyficacja Jana Pawła II” for several months.
I received some strange looks for taking these photographs. I hope you enjoy/appreciate that.