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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid