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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora