VATICAN CITY, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Pope John Paul II will almost certainly be a saint by the end of 2014, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re said.
The cardinal, who was close to John Paul and is prefect emeritus of the Vatican Congregation of Bishops, said the canonization is likely to occur in 2013, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. Re said that three or four miracles attributed to the late pope are now being examined.
John Paul was beatified, the first step to canonization, in 2011. The Vatican recognized one miracle at that time, the healing of a French nun diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
At least one more miracle needs to be recognized for canonization.
John Paul was pope for more than 26 years until his death at 84 in 2005, the second-longest reign in Vatican history. At the time of his election, he was archbishop of Krakow and he was the first non-Italian to become pope since the 16th century.