VATICAN CITY (RNS) The late Pope John Paul II is on the verge of sainthood just eight years after his death, making his rise to canonization the fastest in the history of the modern church.

An illustration of Pope John Paul II praying.

Pope John Paul II praying. Image courtesy Shutterstock

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, John Paul II’s former personal secretary, confirmed on Wednesday (July 3) that the Polish pope’s cause had cleared the last hurdle before canonization.

In an interview published by the Archdiocese of Krakow, where he is now archbishop, Dziwisz referred to Italian media reports that cardinals and bishops of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints on Tuesday had recognized the authenticity of a second miracle credited to John Paul’s intercession.

A first miracle was recognized before his beatification on May 1, 2011.

According to Dziwisz, the cardinals’ approval of the miracle not only “confirms the sainthood of John Paul II” but “proves, once more, that the way to sainthood that he took is safe and is an example to be followed.”

Pope Francis now needs to sign off on the decree that will officially proclaim John Paul a saint.

A Vatican official speaking on condition of anonymity because saints’ causes are covered by strict secrecy said an “announcement on this cause” could be expected “in the very near future.”

Italian media speculated that Francis might decide to hold John Paul’s canonization ceremony on Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception and a holy day of obligation for Catholics.

If this were to be confirmed, John Paul would become a saint only eight years, eight months and six days after his death in 2005, easily beating the record of 27 years set by Opus Dei founder Josemaria Escriva, who was declared a saint in 2002.

John Paul was beatified and declared “blessed,” the penultimate step to sainthood, by his successor Benedict XVI in 2011, six years after his death, narrowly beating the record set by Mother Teresa in 2003, who also was beatified six years after her death.

The fastest-canonized saint on record is probably Peter of Verona, who was declared a saint in 1253 only 353 days after his death.


  1. Earold Gunter

    Absolutely hysterical. The miracles he “performed” are that people prayed to him to do something, and they claim he did it? God is a jealous God, he better be careful, he messing with the big guys gig. LOL!!!

    • So some people say. You would discover that reliable psychological analysis would define them as hysterics.

      Jealousy is at least a fault, if not an evil. God appears to be faulty and/or evil according to this small thinking.

      To equate “God” with the small and often mean ways of humans, rips God out of the so-called heavens and makes him an evil wanderer on this “devilish” earth. Perhaps creating it all in six days was too fast and that’s how all the defects become part of its manufacture.

  2. John Paul doesn’t deserve even the artificial honor of being considered a saint. He did nothing to stop the sexual carnage of our kids by his clergy. Instead, he blamed their sins and crimes on the times and mores of other people, other cultures. Remember that it took him more than 400 years to lead the church in an apology for its crimes against Galileo. Beatification and canonization are just as foolish as infallibility.

    The church should get out of the business of trying to explain things that are not known or cannot be known with the same mythologies as were used in ancient times. All people need to learn how to say, “I don’t know.” And they should start using their “God-given” abilities to study, learn, and form beliefs on a sensible reality basis. They need to learn how to suspend judgement about those things they do not yet know. We do know how to be good. Jesus, “The Model of the Holy,” was an exemplar in that. Learn from him.

      • It that refers to an opinion that John Paul does not deserve “canonization,” the he did not deserve “beatification,” because of the ways he defied church order by “reforming the reforms” of Vatican II, as Benedict continued to do after him, or by the ways he refused to react to the sexual abuse of our children, then that means that anyone who would support John Paul in spite of those behaviors thinks nothing of the sins and crimes of the clergy, from molesters at the bottom to pope protectors at the top, and they care nothing about the mind of the church in proper collegiality.

        Speaking and writing “NICE” while ignoring such behavior against the mind of the church and the hierarchical cover-up of the grievous clerical sins and crimes of sexual abuse our young, defends violations against the church and violations against our children. Is that religious? Is that Catholic? Does that have anything to do with the mind of Jesus, “The Model of the Holy?”

  3. I was raised Jewish and attended Catholic schools, but I’m not especially religious. Most of my training and work has been in electrical engineering. In March 2005, when John Paul II was critically ill, I saw him in a dream. He said one word, “benedictus”, the word for blessing in Latin. A few weeks later, Pope Benedict was elected. Since then I’ve had prophetic dreams that come true a little while later, including the Gulf oil spill and Japan tsunami. The most recent was of the Boston Marathon bombing. I wrote down the exact date and time of the incident and emailed it to my parents the day before it happened. There’s no rational explanation for any of this and I expect that most people won’t believe me. From my experience, there really was something amazing and miraculous about the life of Pope John Paul II.

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