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Popes are on the path to sainthood

Papal decree paves the way for Canonisation of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II

Pope Francis has signed a decree clearing the way for the Canonisation of Blessed John Paul II and has decided also to ask the world’s cardinals to vote on the Canonisation of Blessed John XXIII, even in the absence of a miracle.

The two Popes could now be Canonised in a joint ceremony later this year.

After Pope Francis met Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, last Friday, the Vatican published a list of decrees the Pope approved related to Blessed John Paul’s Canonisation and 11 other sainthood causes.

The miracle attributed to Blessed John Paul II affected a Costa Rican woman whose aneurysm was cured by the late Pope.

Floribeth Mora Diaz, now 50, made a miraculous recovery from a potentially deadly aneurysm in her cerebral artery two years ago, after a photograph of John Paul II spoke to her. Ms Diaz’s recovery, which her doctor attests has no scientific basis, was recognised by the Vatican as a valid second miracle for the late Pope’s sainthood.

Publishing the decrees, the Vatican also said: “The supreme Pontiff approved the favourable votes of the ordinary session of the cardinal and bishop fathers regarding the Canonisation of Blessed John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) and has decided to convoke a consistory that will also involve the Canonisation of Blessed John Paul II.”

Normally, after a Pope signs a decree recognising the miracle needed for a Canonisation, he consults with cardinals around the world and calls a consistory—a gathering attended by any cardinal who wants and is able to attend—where those present voice their support for the Pope’s decision to proclaim a new saint.

A date for a Canonisation ceremony is announced formally only during or immediately after the consistory.

The cardinals and archbishops who are members of the saints’ congregation met at the Vatican on July 2 and voted in favour of the Pope recognising as a miracle the healing of Floribeth Mora Diaz.

The congregation members also looked at the cause of Blessed John and voted to ask Pope Francis to Canonise him without requiring a miracle.

No date for a Canonisation ceremony had yet been announced, but it is likely that the two Popes will be Canonised together, possibly by the end of the year.


—This story was published in full in the July 12 print edition of the SCO, available in parishes.


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