Pope John Paul II could be canonised by October, eight years after his death, according to Vatican sources quoted in the Italian press that say the additional miracle required for his next step towards sainthood has already been identified.
The miraculous event occurred on 1 May 2011, the night of his beatification – the first milestone in the process towards being named a saint. The Polish Pope was beatified when his successor, the recently retired Benedict XVI, who was reported to be “relieved” that he is no longer Pope, officially recognised a French nun’s remarkable recovery from Parkinson’s disease as the first miracle that was needed for the penultimate step before sainthood.
Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, 48, claimed her symptoms vanished in 2005 after prayers were offered to the recently deceased pontiff. She said her whole order prayed on her behalf, as she scribbled the Pope’s name on a piece of paper and woke up the next day cured.
The new miracle “could not be explained by doctors or theologians”, according to a source quoted in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. It said “when the nature of the cure is revealed it will amaze many people”, but did not provide any further details.
If John Paul II is named a saint by the end of this year, then his status will have risen from blessed to that of a saint in record time.