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Pope John Paul II closer to sainthood

April 2, 2007 at 12:43 PM   |   Comments

VATICAN CITY, April 2 (UPI) -- The Vatican has moved a step closer to declaring the late Pope John Paul II a saint, with the announcement of one of two required posthumous miracles.

French nun Marie Simon-Pierre gave testimony her Parkinson's disease disappeared as a result of prayers to the late pontiff, and church officials said they would investigate further, two years after the Polish-born leader's death on April 2, 2005.

The church requires proof of a medically unexplained healing before a candidate can be beatified. That's the last step before sainthood, which requires proof of a second miracle.

Normally, the church requires at least five years to pass after someone's death before the beatification process begins. But John Paul II himself waived the rules in 2003 when he beatified Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and she reached that stage six years after her death, the BBC said.

Tuesday, it's expected Pope Benedict XVI will give his blessing to John Paul's first step, which allows for him to be called "Blessed," the report said.

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