Vatican warns pilgrims of ticket scams ahead of John Paul II beatification

April 11th, 2011 - 4:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Rome, Apr.11 (ANI): The Vatican has warned Catholic pilgrims against ticket scams and unscrupulous hoteliers as the beatification of Pope John Paul II to be held on May 1 in Rome draws nearer.

The Vatican has released a detailed schedule of events for the beatification and has warned people against selling counterfeit tickets.

The beatification ceremony it said is open to all and will begin with a prayer vigil at the ancient Roman site, Circus Maximus on Saturday April 30. Eight churches will open their doors to pilgrims on the occasion.

Pope Benedict XVI will hold the beatification mass at 10 a.m. on May 1 in St. Peter’s Square, and after the mass, the faithful will be invited to pray before Pope John Paul’s remains in front of the main altar inside St. Peter’s Basilica.

At least one million pilgrims are expected to arrive in Rome by Easter to mark the beatification, the final step before the “blessed” Pope John Paul II is officially declared a saint, The Telegraph reports.

Vatican officials have also sought an “ethical pact” with the Rome Hoteliers Association in which members have promised not to raise prices for the events.

Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno, has reached an agreement with the Vatican to financially support the event that will cost the city around 4.4 million pounds.

Alemanno said he would seek aid from the Italian government to help pay for extra municipal police, street cleaning and 35 pilgrim welcome centres at the city’s airports and train stations.

Rome’s subway service will also remain open throughout the night of Saturday April 30 and the city will provide 2800 police personnel for security. (ANI)

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