Will Blessed Pope John Paul II Be Canonized on October 22?

Workmen install a large banner in St. Peter’s Square on May 2, 2011, one day after the Beatification of the late Pope John Paul II.

The medical council charged with reviewing a possible miraculous healing attributable to Pope John Paul II has ruled it “inexplicable” and has forwarded the file to the Vatican Congregation for the Saints for further study.

According to the Italian newspaper La Stampa, the canonization of Karol  Wojtyla is moving forward and may happen as early as October 2013.  The proceedings have been conducted in secrecy; but Andrea Tornielli, reporting from Vatican City, reported:

In January, the postulator of the cause, Mgr. Slawomir Oder, submitted a presumed miraculous healing to the Vatican Congregation for the Saints for a preliminary opinion. As it is known, after the approval of a miracle for the proclamation of a blessed, the canonical procedures include the recognition of a second miracle that must have occurred after the beatification ceremony. 

Two doctors of the Vatican council had previously examined this new case, and both gave a favourable opinion. The dossier with the medical records and the testimonies was then officially presented to the Congregation, which immediately included the examination in its agenda. In the past few days it was discussed by a committee of seven doctors, the council (presided over by Dr. Patrick Polisca, Pope John Paul II’s cardiologist), Pope Benedict XVI’s personal physicians and now Pope Francis’s. The medical council also gave a favourable opinion, the first official go-ahead by the Vatican, by defining as inexplicable the healing attributed to the intercession of the blessed Karol Wojtyla.

According to Italy’s Panorama Magazine, the healing selected for further study was chosen from four cases which had been submitted to the Vatican.

In May 2005, Pope Benedict XVI waived the normal five-year waiting period before beatification proceedings for his predecessor could begin, citing “exceptional circumstances”.

In 2009, the Congregation for the Saints unanimously ruled that Pope John Paul had lived a life of virtue; just a month later, Pope Benedict signed a declaration ruling that he had, in fact, lived a “heroic, virtuous life”.

The first miracle attributed to the late pope—the miracle which led to John Paul’s beatification in May 2011—was the healing of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a French nun who had suffered from Parkinson’s disease.  Sister Marie had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001 and deteriorated rapidly, becoming incapacited within only four years to the point that she could no longer write and could barely drive.  The sisters began praying to Pope John Paul for her healing; and within only a few weeks, the Parkinson’s symptoms disappeared and doctors confirmed that she was completely healed.

At this point, specifics regarding the second healing are still confidential; but it is believed that the second miracle occurred shortly after Pope John Paul’s death.  If the Congregation for the Saints also rules that there is no natural cause for this second healing, Blessed John Paul II could be canonized as early as October.  One source has suggested that while no date has been determined at this time, it could be Sunday, October 20—the nearest Sunday to Blessed Pope John Paul’s October 22 feastday.


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