People socialize in the GP2 bar in Rome April 7. The bar honors Giovanni Paolo II, or Pope John Paul II.

CNS PHOTO | PAUL HARING

People socialize in the GP2 bar in Rome April 7. The bar honors Giovanni Paolo II, or Pope John Paul II.

April 25, 2011

Young Catholics sip beer and kick back in the crypt beneath the Basilica of St. Charles, home to the GP2 bar and youth club in downtown Rome.

The pub, sponsored by the Rome diocesan office of youth ministry and Catholic Action's youth section, is dedicated to the late Pope John Paul II - Giovanni Paolo II in Italian.

The club dished out some special events to celebrate Pope John Paul's life and beatification, scheduled for May 1.

A special Czech beer, blessed by Plzen Bishop Frantisek Radkovsky, was to arrive at the pub April 20.

Blessing beer is rare today, but the bishop will use a prayer written centuries ago when monasteries produced beer and would pray for those who would consume it.

Massimo Camussi, the event manager at GP2, said the events are designed to help people know Pope John Paul better.

Msgr. Slawomir Oder, the postulator of the late pope's sainthood cause, shared stories about the late pope at the pub April 7.