The late Pope John Paul may officially become a saint this December. A commission of cardinals and bishops signed off on the proposal Tuesday that confirmed the second-longest-serving Pope in history will be canonized. The next and final step is the approval of Pope Francis. John Paul has been on the fast track for possible sainthood ever since his death in 2005. During his 27-year papacy, Eastern Europe saw the collapse of communism, starting in his native country of Poland.
John Paul II has been accredited with the necessary two miracles needed to apply for sainthood. The first was asking god to cure French nun Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand of Parkinson’s disease. The second is linked to the healing of a woman from Costa Rica in 2011.
There remains some concern that the process has been too quick as some of the Vatican’s deep-seated issues such as sex abuse and financial scandals date from shortcomings of his pontificate. And yet, during his funeral in 2005, many cried “Santo Subitu,” which roughly translates to “make him a saint straight away.”
If Francis gives the final sign-off, Pope John Paul will become the 11th religious figure to become a saint in the 21st century. John Paul will be canonized together with John XXIII, the Pope whose passionate views on equality were summed up in his famous statement “We were all made in God’s image, and thus, we are all Godly alike.”