Pope Benedict XVI urged Polish pilgrims on Wednesday to pray for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, saying his predecessor's teachings and life were important for the faithful today.
Benedict made the comments in Polish during his weekly Wednesday general audience, noting that six months had passed since John Paul's April 2 death.
"All of his teachings and the example of his life remain important and contemporary for us," Benedict said. "I entrust his beatification to your prayers of the Rosary."
Many Poles in the crowd waved red and white Polish flags after the pope spoke.
Benedict announced May 13 that he was putting John Paul on the fast track for possible sainthood, waiving the traditional five year waiting period before the process can begin. The pope was responding to widespread calls for John Paul to be named a saint, including chants of "Santo Subito!" or "Sainthood Now!" that erupted during his April 8 funeral.
The Vatican must confirm one miracle from after John Paul's death for him to be beatified, and a second miracle occurring after the beatification for him to be made a saint, reports the AP. I.L.