Website Helps Speed Sainthood

Devotees can offer prayer or donation via a Vatican-maintained site
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2007 9:00 AM CDT
Pope John Paul II and Diana, Princess of Wales are seen in this Aug. 29, 1985 file photo, on occasion of the private audience at the Vatican with her husband Prince Charles. Friday Aug. 31, 2007 marks...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Vatican has invited followers of John Paul II  to offer prayers and donations to boost the process of making him a saint . A website set up for that purpose gives visitors the opportunity to see the late pontiff''s tomb via the 24-hour webcam and request pieces of the popular pope's cassock in return for donations made by credit card. Created in 2005 and redesigned recently, it now receives 1,200 donations a day, Bloomberg reports.

"The aim is to give everyone a chance to take part in the process," says the site's webmaster. "It's a way of reaching out."  John Paul II is benefiting from a streamlined canonization process which he established, having sainted 500 souls, more than the combined total for all popes in the last 400 years.