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John Paul II close to sainthood

The Catholic Church is on the verge of declaring late Pope John Paul II a saint.

Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:58
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Pope John Paul II set to become a saint in December, indicating a Catholic Church committee approved move. [EPA]

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Vatican body that reviews candidates for sainthood, credited the late Pope John Paul II with a second miracle since his death, Italian media reported.

The commission consisting of cardinals and bishops, approved the pope's intercession was behind the healing of a woman from Costa Rica on May 1, 2011, Italy's ANSA news agency said.

Pope Francis must now give his approval before a canonisation date is set.  

John Paul II reformed the sainthood process in 1983, making it faster, simpler, and cheaper.  His successor, Benedict, waived a church rule that normally requires a five-year waiting period before the preliminaries to sainthood can begin.

John Paul II  had already been credited with asking God to cure French nun Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand of Parkinson's disease, which helped lead to his beatification in 2011, when he was declared a "blessed" of the Church.

A second miracle is required in order for someone to be given full sainthood.

Canonisation is the final step in the official process that declares a deceased person to be a saint. A canonisation ceremony for the Polish-born pontiff, who died in April 2005, can be set as soon as December, according to reports.  That would be the fastest progression to sainthood in modern times.

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