In a developing story the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has cleared the way for late Popes John Paul II and John XXIII to become saints.
Francis has approved a miracle attributed to John Paul II’s intercession.
The Pope also decided to canonize John XXIII even though a second miracle has not been attributed to his intercession.
Pope Francis signed the decree Friday morning, the Vatican announced.
John Paul II was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005, and was essentially the first rock star pontiff, traveling the world and drawing millions in his appearances.
He was especially liked by young people for his engaging personality and energy.
On May 1, 2011, the late pope John Paul II was beatified, the first step to become a saint, after being credited for miraculously curing a French nun from Parkinson’s Disease.
On that day, the family of a severely ill Costa Rican woman reportedly prayed to John Paul for her recovery.
According to Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion, the sick woman was diagnosed with an aneurism on a major blood vessel in her brain.
After the beautification and the family’s prayers, the aneurism miraculously disappeared, according to Alejandro Vargas Roman, the attending physician in an interview with La Nacion.
Because there was no logical medical explanation and much proof of the prayers to the pontiff, the miracle was attributed to the divine intercession of the late John Paul II.
At his funeral, thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square chanted “Santo Subito!” which translates into “Sainthood Now!”
The Polish-born pope was in a sure path to beatification when he died in 2005, and became “the blessed” John Paul II not even six years after his death, the fastest beatification in centuries.
The ceremonies are speculated to be lead by Pope Francis on December 8 when the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Immaculate Conception. No official announcement has been made.
[Image via Grzegorz Galazka/Libreria Editrice Vaticana]