The date for John Paul II's canonization has yet to be set, Pope Francis acknowledged Tuesday, though he hinted the faithful might want to circle next April 27 on their calendars.
In an interview on the Papal flight back to Rome following World Youth Day celebrations in Brazil
, Pope Francis said the Church has several dates it was considering for the canonization of Pope John Paul II, who died April 2, 2005.
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The initial two days the Church considered were Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and Nov. 24, the Feast of Christ the King, but have since been ruled out.
If John Paul II's canonization date had been set for Dec. 8, Francis feared the winter weather would prevent poor Polish Catholics from attending the celebration, and a Nov. 24 canonization date would not allow for enough time to make the necessary preparations, he said, according to the Catholic News Service
One date that is still being considered is the first Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, on April 27, 2014, Pope Francis said.
Earlier in July, the Roman Catholic Church announced its intention to canonize John Paul II, after two miracles were attributed to the beloved Polish Pontiff
To be named a saint, two confirmed miracles must be attributed to an individual. Miracles must be considered instantaneous, permanent, and without a scientific explanation.
John Paul II's first miracle was the healing of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a French nun who suffered from Parkinson's, which was attributed to him by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The Polish Pontiff was subsequently beatified (blessed) on May 1, 2011.
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Then last month, a board of theologians approved a second miracle for the former Pontiff, which involved the "extraordinary healing" of a Costa Rican woman who was cured of a severe brain injury after she and her family began praying to the late Polish pope, The Telegraph reported
John Paul was head of the Roman Catholic Church from October 1978 until his death in April 2005, making him the second longest-serving Pope in history and the first non-Italian since 16th century.
During his time as Pontiff, John Paul II visited 129 countries, beatified 1,340 people and canonized 483 saints, in addition to helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe.
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