Pope John Paul II Closer to Sainthood After Vatican Confirms Miracle

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People light candles during the 5th anniversary of the death of the late Pope John Paul II in Warsaw on April 2, 2010. REUTERS/Peter Andrews

In 2005, mourners at Pope John Paul II’s funeral’s chanted “sainthood now.” It looks like the Vatican heard them.

Writing in Milan’s Il Giomale, senior Vatican reporter Andrea Tornielli reports that the Vatican may fast-track the late Pope’s sainthood now that the medical committee of its Congregation for the Cause of Saints has confirmed John Paul’s first miracle.

(Read, “Pope Bans Carla Bruni from the Vatican.”)

In June 2005, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a 49-year old French nun, claimed that she was cured of Parkinson’s disease after praying to John Paul, who also suffered from the illness and who had died two months earlier. “It’s like a second birth,” she said at the time. “I feel like I’ve discovered a new body, new limbs.” But the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita cast doubt on that miracle when it suggested that Sister Marie may have suffered from a curable disease with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s, and reports elsewhere suggested that the nun had fallen ill again in 2010. If the reports out of Rome are true, the Vatican’s committee must have discounted these claims.

The beloved John Paul, who served as Pope for 26 years, cleared the first hurdle towards sainthood in December 2009 when his successor Benedict XVI signed a decree attesting to his “heroic virtues”—cutting short the customary five-year waiting period following a candidate’s death.  Mother Teresa is the only other person to have received that treatment.

(Watch bare-chested acrobats perform for the Pope.)

According to the Irish Times, evidence of John Paul’s miracle likely paves the way for him to be beatified in a major public ceremony in St. Peter’s Square in Rome later this year. Evidence of a second miracle is needed for sainthood. (via Catholic Herald)