News / Europe

Vatican Approves Sainthood for Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II celebrated mass in New York's Central Park, Oct. 7, 1995.
Pope John Paul II celebrated mass in New York's Central Park, Oct. 7, 1995.
VOA News
The Vatican says the late Pope John Paul II will be made a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Francis approved sainthood for the Polish-born pontiff, who died eight years ago.  The pope also decided to canonize Pope John the 23rd, who led the church during a five-year period of reorganization, until 1963.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Pope Francis announced both decisions on Friday.

"The pontiff approved the votes in favor of the canonization of beatified Pope John the 23rd, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli and has decided to convene a consistory which will also deal with Pope John Paul II, Karol Jozef Wojtya," said Lombardi.

Patrick Kelly, the executive director of the Blessed John Paul II Shrine in Washington, said in an interview with VOA the pontiff's legacy is enduring.

"He was a champion for human rights and for the dignity of the person," Kelly said. "He travelled the world, actually the entire world, to bring the message of the gospel to all corners of the globe and also to champion human rights everywhere he went."

How to Become a Saint in the Catholic Church:

- Candidates for sainthood undergo an investigation
- Inquiries are made into the person's life, reputation, and activities during their lifetime
- Proof that no one has proclaimed or is already proclaiming and honoring the person as a saint before its been officially declared
- An exhaustive examination of the person's written and spoken (transcripts) works
- If investigators declare the candidate venerable, evidence of miracles attributed to the candidate's intercession with God is sought
- Miracles need to be documented and authenticated
- Actual ceremony usually takes place in St. Peter's Square outside the Vatican
Andreas Widmer, who served as Pope John Paul's papal guard for two years, told VOA he has long considered him a candidate for sainthood.

"To me, John Paul has been a saint [since] a long time ago, ever since I knew him because he was fullest, the most complete human being that I have ever met," Widmer.

Pope John Paul II had a profound impact on his life, he said, adding that the sainthood designation will encourage others learn more about his character.

"Only through John Paul, when I saw this man live, I came to think, I remember saying that 'Whatever that man has, that's what I want' because I saw somebody who was fully happy, as a human person in a state of happiness that was profound and lasting," he said.

Pope John Paul was extremely popular during his 27-year papacy.  A Vatican statement says his "love for young people brought him to establish World Youth Days."  He is also credited for encouraging dialogue with representatives of other religions, including Jews.

Pope John Paul II was succeeded by Pope Benedict, a German cleric who resigned earlier this year and was replaced by Pope Francis, who had been a cardinal in Argentina.  The three popes were the first non-Italians elected to lead the world's Roman Catholics in hundreds of years.

The Vatican paid tribute to the late Pope John the 23rd as "meek," "gentle, enterprising and courageous."  During World War Two, he was instrumental in helping to get news from prisoners of war to their families.

There is no word yet on when they will be canonized, or consecrated as saints, but it has been reported the ceremonies could be scheduled before the end of this year.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
July 05, 2013 1:16 PM
Gods be with us

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid