Catholic popes to be declared saints in April

30 September 2013 16:25
(QHA) - Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will be declared saints in April, the Vatican said Monday. The announcement came after Pope Francis met with cardinals to discuss the planned canonizations of two of his predecessors. The ceremony will take place on April 27, reports CNN. It will be the first time two popes will be canonized at the same time. To be named a saint involves a series of steps, but the qualifications are straightforward, according to the veteran Vatican analyst John Allen. "You put a holy life and two miracles together, according to the Catholic system, you've got a saint," he said. The calls to canonize John Paul II began even before he had been buried. People attending his funeral in 2005 held banners saying "Santo Subito," short for "make him a saint now." By passing the normal five-year waiting period, Pope Benedict XVI set in motion the process to canonize his predecessor. John Paul is said to have miraculously cured Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a French nun stricken by Parkinson's disease, several months after his death. John XXIII, revered for his role in the Second Vatican Council, is only recorded as having performed one miracle after his death in 1963. "Pope Francis has decided that there already was a decree of heroic virtue saying that the man had lived a holy life," Allen says. "There already was one miracle certified for his beatification in 2000, so Pope Francis has decided he doesn't have to pass go, doesn't have to collect $200, he can go directly to sainthood."