With reports that a second miracle, attributed to the influence of Pope John Paul II, has been approved by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, it is anticipated that Pope Francis could canonize the former pontiff before the end of this year.
According to Catholic World News, the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation met on Tuesday and reportedly gave final approval of the second miracle. Two panels of experts, one composed of doctors and the other of theologians, had already examined and tentatively approved the miracle which, though it has remained a closely guarded secret, Vatican sources predict will “amaze the world.” The panel of doctors had ruled that an inexplicable recovery came about through John Paul II’s intervention on the night he was beatified on May 1, 2011.
The first miracle attributed to John Paul’s influence was the inexplicable recovery of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, from Parkinson’s Disease.
John Paul II died in 2005 at the age of 84.
The Congregation’s meeting also reportedly resulted in the approval of a second miracle attributed to the influence of Pope John XXIII, who died 50 years ago. John XXIII, often referred to as the “Good Pope,” was beatified in 2000 by John Paul II, who, in turn, was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011.
Canonical norms require that a second miracle be recognized after beatification. The process of canonization was simplified by Pope John Paul II in January of 1983. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints also has its own norms for the process.
Though the Vatican has not officially announced the results of the Congregation’s meeting, Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation, is expected to meet with Pope Francis to present the vote for his approval in the near future. The announcement of canonization does not officially take effect until the Pope authorizes the release of a decree.
Italian news outlet La Stampa suggests that the canonizations of both pontiffs could take place in one ceremony, likely in December, immediately following the conclusion of the Church’s Year of Faith.