The Vatican says Pope John Paul II is to be beatified in a ceremony on May 1.
In the Roman Catholic Church, beatification is a crucial step toward sainthood.
The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI today approved a decree attributing a miracle to the late pontiff, paving the way for his beatification. A second miracle is needed for John Paul to be made a saint.
The May 1 ceremony to be presided by Benedict himself is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to Rome to honor the popular Polish-born pontiff.
John Paul, born Karol Wojtila, died in 2005 after a papacy of 27 years.
compiled from agency reports