Pope John Paul II to be canonized on April 27
October 1, 2013
John Paul II
John Paul II, the Polish-born pontiff who led the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005 will be declared a saint on April 27, 2014 Pope Francis said Monday during a meeting with cardinals inside the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
The setting of the canonization date has been expected since July when Francis approved a second miracle attributed to John Paul, opening the way to the fastest canonization in modern times.
The beatification of John Paul – which is a step toward sainthood – was started by his successor, Benedict XVI, after John Paul died in 2005. The Vatican said at the time that it waived its usual five-year waiting period to begin the process because of "exceptional circumstances”.
Two miracles are usually required before a candidate can be considered for sainthood. The first miracle John Paul was credited with was the healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, whose recovery from Parkinson's disease after praying for his "intercession" apparently had no medical explanation. This miracle led to his beatification in 2011.
John Paul’s second miracle was approved by Francis three months ago. A Costa Rican woman is said to have made a miraculous recovery from a brain aneurysm on May 1, 2011, the day John Paul was beatified.
John Paul will share his canonization ceremony with that of Pope John XXIII, who was known as the "good pope" and reigned from 1958 to 1963 , calling the Second Vatican Council that transformed the Church.
The decision to canonize the two former popes at the same time appears designed to unify Catholics, analysts say.
John Paul II is a favorite of conservative Catholics, while John XXIII is admired by the Church's progressive wing.