Pope John Paul II Cleared for Sainthood

The decree follows the confirmation of a second miracle last month

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PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP
PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP

Just eight years after his death at the age of 84, Pope John Paul II will be made a saint in a canonization ceremony later this year. The Vatican announced Friday that Pope Francis had signed the decree clearing the way for the 264th pope to be declared a saint, CNN reports.

As TIME noted last month, the Catholic Church appeared to be on track to canonize the late pope faster than anyone else in recent history. The Polish-born pontiff led the church for 27 years following his election in 1978, when he became the first non-Italian pope in 450 years. He also became known for his avid globetrotting and amassing a global fan base.

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In June Pope Francis approved a second miracle attributed to John Paul: curing a Costa Rican woman who prayed for his help on the day of his beatification. She reportedly recovered from a severe brain injury following the Pope’s intervention. His first miracle — cured a French nun of Parkinson’s Disease — was confirmed in 2010.

The Vatican also announced that Pope John XXIII — who led the church from 1958 to 1963 and opened the Vatican II reforms that modernized the Catholic Church in the 1960s — would become a saint as well, even though he has only one confirmed miracle. Two confirmed miracles are usually required before one can be declared a saint, Reuters reports, but Pope Francis made an exception for John XXIII.

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