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Vatican announces Pope John Paul II sainthood

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   July 5, 2013 at 8:04 AM   |   Comments

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July 5 (UPI) -- Pope Francis announced Friday the canonization of John Paul II, officially making the extremely popular late pontiff a saint.

John Paul was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005, and is considered the first "rock star" pope, as he traveled the world and drew massive crowds.

Thousands of Catholics traveled to the Vatican for his funeral and chanted "santo subito," meaning sainthood now, in St. Peter's Square. The Polish pope received the fastest beatification in centuries, becoming "the Blessed" John Paul II in 2011 when his first miracle was recognized.

The first miracle was the purported healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who recovered from Parkinson’s disease after praying for the late John Paul II’s intercession.

The second miracle happened on the day of his beatification, when a Costa Rican woman was purportedly cured of a severe brain injury after her family began praying to the memory of John Paul II.

The Holy See announced that John Paul II will be canonized along with John XXIII, who was pope from 1958 to his death in 1963.

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