Pope John Paul II Miracle Approved, Puts Him Step Closer to Sainthood

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Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013 01:31 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A board of theologians has approved a second miracle for former Pope John Paul II, putting him one step closer to sainthood, Vatican insiders told the Italian media Tuesday.

The Vatican is preparing to announce the pope's second "mystery" miracle at the end of this month or the beginning of July, the source said, according to Italian news agency Ansa.

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In order to be named a saint, two confirmed miracles must be attributed to an individual. Miracles must be considered instantaneous, permanent, and with no scientific explanation.

John Paul II's first miracle was the healing of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a French nun who suffered from Parkinson's. He was beatified, the first step toward sainthood, on May 1, 2011, by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

The second miracle reportedly concerns 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, U.K. newspaper The Telegraph reported.

The commission of cardinals and bishops must now approve John Paul II's proclamation of sainthood, which will need the final signature of Pope Francis, according to Ansa.

Rumor has it the former pope will be canonized a saint on Oct. 20, approximately the 35th anniversary of his election as pope.

The Catholic Church has long anticipated the canonization of the charismatic John Paul II, widely considered one of the most popular popes in history.

"The canonization of Karol Wojtyla will be the crowning glory of the recent history of Catholicism, linking the last three pontificates," Saverio Gaeta, who wrote a biography of John Paul II, told La Stampa newspaper.

John Paul II was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005 at age 84. He was the second-longest serving pontiff in history and the first non-Italian since 1523.
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Related stories:

Catholic Church Seeks Second Miracle to Make Pope John Paul II a Saint

Pope Benedict Set to Beatify John Paul II

John Paul II Fast-Tracked for Sainthood

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