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Pope Francis decrees John Paul II, John XXIII be canonized

July 5, 2013 at 8:12 AM   |   Comments

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VATICAN CITY, July 5 (UPI) -- Pope Francis signed a decree at the Vatican Friday to canonize Popes John Paul II and John XXIII, who will be made saints later this year.

A second miracle needed for John Paul's canonization recently was ratified and Francis ordered John XXIII to become a saint despite not having a second miracle attributed to him, ANSA reported.

The two popes are considered to be among the most influential leaders of the Catholic faith in recent history.

Polish-born John Paul II was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005, spreading the faith worldwide and helping speed up the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, the ANSA report said.

John XXII, pope from 1958 until his death in 1963, called the historic Second Vatican Council that resulted in huge changes in the church for the modern era.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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