Tapestry of Bl. John Paul II, AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito

2/3 of the Wheat and Weedlets arose at 2:30 to watch the beatification Mass live. A beatification or canonization is an excellent moment to entrust an intention to a new saint, so we prayed our private prayers and ate ice cream sundaes in celebration. (Why do I think the two youngest weedlets' prayers might have been thus answered on the spot?)

Here's the homily.

And to the nay-sayers who say, what's the rush? I say: you are either insincere; or ungrateful (liberating us from Soviet communism and the great and terrible malaise of the 1970s wasn't enough?); or too young to remember the flakiness and ennui that characterized the Church at the time he took office --and thus don't see how rapidly he changed things for the better.

More importantly: we had 27 years watching this man. We know he is holy (which is not the same as omniscient, omnipotent, or perfect in judgment, those being qualities belonging to God alone; nor is it a claim that a great work of reform you'd begun was yet brought to completion); that's what the crowds chanting "Santo subito!" at his funeral meant. Why is it the same people insisting the Church should be more democratic are always so resistant when it's shown the Church in fact does listen to her people?  See this crowd, which six years on gathered once again and spread all the way down the Via della Conciliazone (500 meters long according to Wiki) to the Tiber and then left & right into the side streets? This is a beatification by acclamation:
The pope opens with the same idea:
Six years ago we gathered in this Square to celebrate the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Our grief at his loss was deep, but even greater was our sense of an immense grace which embraced Rome and the whole world: a grace which was in some way the fruit of my beloved predecessor’s entire life, and especially of his witness in suffering. Even then we perceived the fragrance of his sanctity, and in any number of ways God’s People showed their veneration for him. For this reason, with all due respect for the Church’s canonical norms, I wanted his cause of beatification to move forward with reasonable haste. And now the longed-for day has come; it came quickly because this is what was pleasing to the Lord: John Paul II is blessed!
(The full process was respected; the only change was the pope's waiving the 5 year waiting period before a cause can be introduced.)

What was the great cause of John Paul's life?
It is the same one that John Paul II presented during his first solemn Mass in Saint Peter’s Square in the unforgettable words: “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!” What the newly-elected Pope asked of everyone, he was himself the first to do: society, culture, political and economic systems he opened up to Christ, turning back with the strength of a titan – a strength which came to him from God – a tide which appeared irreversible. 
Benedict offered a personal reflection as well:
I would like to thank God for the gift of having worked for many years with Blessed Pope John Paul II. I had known him earlier and had esteemed him, but for twenty-three years, beginning in 1982 after he called me to Rome to be Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I was at his side and came to revere him all the more. My own service was sustained by his spiritual depth and by the richness of his insights. His example of prayer continually impressed and edified me: he remained deeply united to God even amid the many demands of his ministry. Then too, there was his witness in suffering: the Lord gradually stripped him of everything, yet he remained ever a “rock”, as Christ desired. His profound humility, grounded in close union with Christ, enabled him to continue to lead the Church and to give to the world a message which became all the more eloquent as his physical strength declined. In this way he lived out in an extraordinary way the vocation of every priest and bishop to become completely one with Jesus, whom he daily receives and offers in the Church.
Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God’s people. You often blessed us in this Square from the Apostolic Palace: Bless us, Holy Father! Amen.
What can one add but: Santo Subito!