On April 2, 2005, upon learning that Pope John Paul II had died, huge crowds gathered in Saint Peter's Square and cried out "Santo subito" in unison "a saint immediately." Now they are getting their wish. The usually long, drawn out process of canonization has moved with astonishing quickness for the late Polish pontiff, certainly with the encouragement of his successor, Benedict XVI. On May 1, 2011, John Paul was beatified in Saint Peter's Basilica, the last step before sainthood, in a ritual that included displaying his exhumed wooden casket in public. Many of the faithful, including thousands from his native Poland and the reigning pope himself, paused to pray before John Paul's remains.