The National Bank of Poland commemorates the Beatification of John Paul II with this colorful 2011 silver proof coin. Before hundreds of thousands of the Roman Catholic faithful, the late Pope John Paul II was beatified Sunday May 1st, 2011 in a ceremony that declared him "blessed" and put the Polish pontiff one step closer to sainthood. A packed St. Peter's Square erupted in applause when the current pope, Benedict XVI, recited the words that elevated his predecessor, whose massive portrait was then unveiled over the doorway of the basilica.
Karol Józef Wojtyła, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometres from Krakow, on May 18, 1920. He was elected Pope on October 16, 1978 and on October 22 began His Universal Pastoral Ministery in the Church. No other Pope has encountered so many individuals like John Paul II: to date, more than 17,600,000 pilgrims have participated in the General Audiences held on Wednesdays (more than 1,160). Such figure is without counting all other special audiences and religious ceremonies held [more than 8 million pilgrims during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 alone] and the millions of faithful met during pastoral visits made in Italy and throughout the world. It must also be remembered the numerous government personalities encountered during 38 official visits and in the 738 audiences and meetings held with Heads of State, and even the 246 audiences and meetings with Prime Ministers. He died in Rome, in Vatican, at 9.37 p.m. on saturday April 2, 2005.
The reverse features the Pope John Paul II against a colored image of the terrestrial globe and a semicircular inscription: BEATYFIKACJA JANA PAWLA II and the date 1 V 2011.