In addition to installing a massive photo of Pope John Paul II dwarfing the columns in Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City, Rome's city government has plastered 30,000 posters of John Paul II around the city on everything from coffee shop windows to taxicabs and buses, according to a CNN report. Streetlamps are draped with banners, and every major Italian newspaper and magazine has issued special editions. Epoca magazine's retrospective issue even refers to John Paul II as a saint despite the fact he will remain one step away after Sunday.
Documentaries about John Paul II's life have dominated Italian airwaves in recent days, and the beatification will be broadcast in St. Peter's Square and in Italian city squares from Brescia to Bari. In a rare move, the Vatican and the Italian government are both issuing stamps to commemorate the occasion. Blessed John Paul II's feast day will be celebrated on October 22.
Follow the Vatican web cam over the next few days to watch as preparations for the Beatification ceremony progress.