Pope Francis approves canonisation of John Paul II

Vatican City, July 6 (IANS/AKI) Late pope John Paul II is set to become a saint later this year as Pope Francis has approved his second miracle.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi confirmed that the miracle concerned a Costa Rican woman, who has been named in media reports as Floribeth Mora Diaz.

Diaz claimed she was cured from a seemingly terminal brain aneurysm after she prayed before a shrine to John Paul II in May 2011, reports said.

The Vatican's "saint-making department" concluded that the only explanation for her recovery was the fact that her family had prayed for the late pope's intercession.

Pope Francis also decided that the late pope John XXIII, who opened the landmark Second Vatican Council in 1962, should also be canonised, despite no second miracle having been approved in his case.

John XXIII reigned from 1958 to 1963.

A precise date for the canonisations will be set by a meeting of cardinals, the Vatican said.

John Paul II could become a saint Oct 22, his feast day and the anniversary of the liturgical inauguration of his 27-year-long papacy in 1978, according to Vatican observers.

Another possible date is Dec 8 - the feast of the immaculate conception.

Critics of John Paul II say his record was poor in handling the clerical sex abuse scandal.

His pontificate has also been blamed for other problems at the Holy See including dysfunctional governance and more recently the financial scandals at the Vatican bank.

The Vatican's complicated "saint-making" procedure requires that the Vatican certify a "miracle" - or medically inexplicable cure that can be directly linked to prayers offered by the faithful - was achieved through the intercession of the candidate.

One miracle is needed for beatification, a second for canonisation.

John Paul II was beatified May 1, 2011, just six months after his death, when the Vatican attributed to him the "inexplicable" recovery of French nun Sister Marie Simon-Pierre from Parkinson's Disease.

--IANS/AKI

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