Blessed John Paul II to be Canonized

The Blessed John Paul II Shrine staff, dedicated to this great man, joins people around the world in welcoming the news that Blessed John Paul II will soon be canonized. Throughout his life, Pope John Paul II was a champion of the rights and dignity of every human person, and his witness and legacy continue to impart an important message to our world today. His life of holiness and devotion to God continue to be an example to all of us.

According to Catholic News Service:

Pope Francis will host a meeting of cardinals on September 30, 2013 to formally approve the canonization of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII; the date for the canonization will be announced at that time, said Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes.  The cardinal told Vatican Radio on August 20, 2013 that only Pope Francis knows for sure the date he will proclaim the two popes saints, although he already implied that it is likely to be in 2014.

Speaking to reporters traveling with him from Brazil to Rome on July 28, 2013, Pope Francis said he had been considering December 8 for the canonization date, but the possibility of icy roads could make it difficult for Polish pilgrims who would travel by bus to Rome for the ceremony.

Another option, he said, would be April 27, 2014, which is the Sunday after Easter and the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, a celebration instituted worldwide by Pope John Paul II.

Asked to describe the two late popes, Pope Francis said Blessed John XXIII was “a bit of the ‘country priest,’ a priest who loves each of the faithful and knows how to care for them; he did this as a bishop and as a nuncio.”

According to Pope Francis, Blessed John XXIII was holy, patient, had a good sense of humor and, especially by calling the Second Vatican Council, was a man of courage. “He was a man who let himself be guided by the Lord,” Pope Francis said.

As for Blessed John Paul II, Pope Francis told the reporters on the plane, “I think of him as ‘the great missionary of the church,’ because he was “a man who proclaimed the Gospel everywhere.”

Pope Francis signed a decree recognizing the miracle needed for Blessed John Paul II's canonization on July 5, 2013; on the same day, the Vatican announced that the pope had agreed with the cardinal members of the Congregation for Saints' Causes that the canonization of Blessed John XXIII should go forward even without a second miracle attributed to his intercession.

After his death in 2005 and the words “Santo Subito” or “Sainthood Now” rang out in St. Peter’s Square, Blessed John Paul II was immediately fast-tracked to sainthood by Pope Benedict XVI. He was beatified six years later when a first miracle was attributed to his intercession. In order to become a saint a second miracle must come after beatification. This will mark the fastest canonization in centuries; “Santo Subito” indeed.

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