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10 Monumental Events That Were Overshadowed by Other Events


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2011: Soon-to-be Saint Can't Compete With bin Laden's Demise
Pope John Paul II's beatification was lost in the coverage of Osama bin Laden's death. Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Universal History Archive/Getty Images
Pope John Paul II's beatification was lost in the coverage of Osama bin Laden's death. Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Universal History Archive/Getty Images

On May 1, 2011, a massive crowd of Roman Catholics from all over the globe poured into Vatican City and cheered as then-Pope Benedict XVI personally declared his late predecessor, John Paul II, to be "blessed." Beatification, as that gesture is called, is the step that comes before official sainthood.

John Paul, the first Polish pope, had become a folk hero for his opposition to communism in his native land and for his travels to more countries than any other pontiff.

His ceremony was a memorable one. The crowd was shown a vial of John Paul II's blood, and Vatican officials unveiled a huge tapestry portrait of the late pontiff, before calling in both English and Polish for believers to pray silently. Benedict proclaimed that in heaven, the saints and angels were celebrating, too [source: CNN].

But the event didn't dominate the news that weekend. The following evening, U. S. President Barack Obama announced that Navy SEALs had secretly slipped into Pakistan and killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, the man behind the Sept. 11 attacks [source: Politico].


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