Pope John Paul II and John XXIII to be canonised

Today, the Vatican announced that Popes John Paul II and Pope John the XXIII will be canonised, made saint on 27th April 2014. According to reports from other media, the move to canonise both at the same time will unify the Catholics across the world.

Most of us our age, will have some memory of Pope John Paul II, though most of us would have been young. He was the first non-Italian Pope for more than 400 years, having been born in Krakow, Poland and led the Catholic Church from 1976, until his death in 2005. Crowds in St Peter’s Square praying for the Holy Father when hearing the news of his passing cried in Latin, “santo subito”, “saint now”.

Pope John XXIII was leader of the church between 1958-1963, and is known for calling the Second Vatican Council which transformed the Church and reformed liturgy. He introduced use of the vernacular language to replace Latin in the Mass, and strengthened the relationship between Judaism and Catholicism.

As is required by the process of canonisation, the candidate for sainthood should have lived a holy life (allowing a cause to be opened) and investigation into their life and worthiness for honouring and veneration. They may then be given the title of “Servant of God”. A first miracle needs to occur before beatification, given the title “Blessed” and public veneration may take place. In Pope John Paul’s case, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand was cured of Parkinson’s Disease, the same illness which afflicted the Pope himself. If second miracle occurs, canonisation to sainthood can occur. The second miracle happened on the day of his beatification in April 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI. A Costa Rican woman made an “inexplicable recovery” from serious illness, attributed to the prayers of her family interceding to Pope John Paul II. In an unusual move, Pope Francis has waived the requirement for a second miracle in the case of Pope John XXIII.

Blessed Pope John Paul II. Pray for us!

Blessed Pope John XXIII. Pray for us!

This was the moment when the date for the canonisation was announced by Pope Francis in Latin:

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