Pope John Paul II reigned as pope of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State for 26 years from October 1978 to his death, on 2 April 2005. Since his death, many thousands of people have been supporting the case for beatifying and canonising Pope John Paul II as a saint. His formal beatification ceremony took place on 1 May 2011.
|Part of a series on the|
John Paul II's official title was "Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of Saint Peter, Head of the College of Bishops, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, Servus Servorum Dei, Pope John Paul II".In 2006 the title Patriarch of the West was removed from the papal list of titles by the succeeding pope, Benedict XVI, due to its obsolescence.
On 9 May 2005, Benedict XVI began the beatification process for his predecessor. Normally five years must pass after a person's death before the beatification process can begin. However, in an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Vicar Camillo Ruini, the one responsible for promoting the cause for canonisation of any person who dies within the diocese of Rome, cited "exceptional circumstances" which suggested that the waiting period could be waived.
The "exceptional circumstances" may possibly refer to the people's cries of "Santo Subito!" ("Saint now!" in Italian) during the pontiff's funeral.Therefore, the new pope waived the five year rule "so that the cause of Beatification and Canonisation of the same Servant of God can begin immediately". The decision was announced on 13 May 2005, the Feast of Our Lady of Fátima and the 24th anniversary of the assassination attempt on John Paul II at St. Peter's Square. John Paul II often credited Our Lady of Fátima for preserving him on that day. Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome, officially opened the cause for beatification in the Lateran Basilica on 28 June 2005.
In early 2006, it was reported that the Vatican was investigating a possible miracle associated with John Paul II. Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a French nun confined to her bed by Parkinson's Disease, was reported to have woken up free of symptoms on 2 June 2005, "after members of her community prayed for the intercession of Pope John Paul II".A member of the Congregation of Little Sisters of Catholic Motherhood from Puyricard, near Aix-en-Provence, Simon-Pierre returned to work at a maternity hospital run by her order. She met reporters 30 March 2006 in Aix-en-Provence, during a press conference with Archbishop of Aix Claude Feidt, saying “I am cured, but it is up to the church to say whether it was a miracle or not.”
However, Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported that Simon-Pierre suffered a relapse of her symptoms in 2010, and suggested that Simon-Pierre did not have Parkinson's but a neurological disease with similar symptoms that could go into remission or be cured, noting that there is no easy way to accurately diagnose the disease short of medical autopsy.The Episcopal Conference of France disputed that the relapse (which would have thrown the purportedly miraculous nature of the cure into doubt) was anything more than a rumour.
On 28 May 2006, Pope Benedict XVI said Mass before an estimated 900,000 people in John Paul II's native Poland. During his homily he encouraged prayers for the early canonisation of John Paul II and stated that he hoped canonisation would happen "in the near future".
In January 2007, it was announced by Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz of Kraków, his former secretary, that the key interviewing phase in Italy and Poland of the beatification process was nearing completion.The relics of Pope John Paul II—pieces of white papal cassocks he used to wear—were being freely distributed with prayer cards for the cause to interested parties; this distribution and prayerful use of relics is a typical praiseworthy pious practice after a saintly Catholic's death.
On 8 March 2007 the Vicariate of Rome announced that the diocesan phase of John Paul's cause for beatification was at an end. Following a ceremony on 2 April 2007 – the second anniversary of the Pontiff's death – the cause proceeded to the scrutiny of the committee of lay, clerical, and episcopal members of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who will conduct an investigation of their own.On the fourth anniversary of Pope John Paul's death, 2 April 2009, Dziwisz told reporters of a presumed miracle that had recently occurred at the former pope's tomb in St. Peter's Basilica. A nine-year-old Polish boy from Gdańsk, who was suffering from kidney cancer and was completely unable to walk, had been visiting the tomb with his parents. On leaving St. Peter's Basilica, the boy told them, "I want to walk", and began walking normally.
In October 2009, Rome's mayor Gianni Alemanno said that the beatification, likely to draw huge crowds, was expected to take place in 2010, but on 4 November 2009 Monsignor Slawomir Oder, postulator of the cause of beatification, said that it was not yet known when study of the case could be concluded.
On 16 November 2009, a panel of reviewers at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints voted unanimously that Pope John Paul II had lived a life of virtue.If Pope Benedict XVI agrees, he will sign the first of two decrees needed for beatification. The first recognises that he lived a heroic, virtuous life and enables him to be called "Venerable", the next step in the sainthood process. That decree was signed by Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday, 19 December 2009. The second vote and the second signed decree would recognise the authenticity of his first miracle (most likely, the case of Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre, the French nun who was cured of Parkinson's Disease). Once the second decree is signed, the ‘positio’ (the report on the cause, with documentation about his life and his writings and with information on the cause) is regarded as being complete. He can then be beatified. John Paul II was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on 1 May 2011.
Prior to the announcement of the beatification, some ecclesiastical authorities had expressed concern that the cure of Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre, and perhaps the cure of the boy who had cancer, may not be complete and lasting, as it has not been that long since the supposed miracles.Sister Marie's symptoms were analyzed very thoroughly before the beatification was announced (by the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints and its medical panel for the Pope's case) to make sure they were not actually psychogenic, or related to another disease. The medical miracle was given a positive affirmation by the Congregation and its medical and theological panels, and by Pope Benedict. It would not have counted as a miracle if the cause was psychogenic and if the immediate physiological cure had not been judged to be definitive, total, and permanent, as well as directly attributable to his intercession.
Another reported miracle was that of Floribeth Mora Diaz. She was a Costa Rican lawyer who was cured of an incurable brain tumour. In this case, neurosurgeons were consulted by the authorities at the Vatican. Diaz was invited to the beatification ceremony.
The beatification ceremony of Pope John Paul II was held on 1 May 2011 and was presided over by Pope Benedict XVI.A vigil in preparation for the celebration was held the night before in the Circus Maximus. The casket in which he was interred was exhumed and placed before Saint Peter's tomb on 29 April 2011. It was placed in front of the main altar for public veneration during the ceremony. After the ceremony, the casket was reinterred in the Chapel of St Sebastian. A vial containing the Pope's blood, taken during the final days of his life, was displayed as a relic for veneration. The reliquary in which the vial was kept during the ceremony was carried by Sister Marie, and Sister Tobiann (who nursed the Pope during his illness).
A total of 87 international delegations attended the ceremony, including 22 world leaders.Amid controversy, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe also attended the ceremony despite a European Union-wide travel ban imposed on him. He was able to travel freely into the Vatican via Rome due to a treaty that allows individuals wanting to travel to the Vatican to pass through Italy. His travel ban was waived by the EU.
One million Catholics gathered for the mass at Saint Peter's Square, where a giant portrait of the former Pope was set up.The Prefecture of the Papal Household, Bishop James Michael Harvey, has issued a draft program for the Beatification of John Paul II, describing it as "a great ecclesial event," the office in charge of organising audiences and handles ticketing for all papal events at the Vatican, issued a statement that began “tickets are not needed to attend the beatification ceremony”.
The city of Rome plastered 30,000 posters around the city. A no-fly zone was enforced over Saint Peter's Square.
On 2 May 2011, following a two-day viewing by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, John Paul II's coffin was sealed within St Peters under the Altar of St. Sebastian.
Some Catholics question the validity of the beatification.Calling into question both the validity of the purported miracle and also asking whether the purported miracle should be attributed to John Paul II rather than the prayers of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre to any other saint. There has been criticism of the rapidity of the beatification in light of the sexual abuse scandals.
Much of the abuse, or its alleged cover-up, occurred while John Paul II was Pope, from 1979–2005, and the Church has been criticised for not doing enough to punish those found responsible.
John Paul II has been criticised (more than perhaps any other issue) for not recognising the full severity of the sex abuse cases until they erupted in America in 2002. He has also been criticised for hinderingthe investigation into the charges of sexual immorality leveled against Father Marcial Maciel Degollado and for allowing diocesan bishops to transfer pedophile priests from one parish to another instead of reporting their crimes to the authorities. John Paul further stands accused of hindering Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who allegedly was attempting to prevent sex abuse.
Meanwhile, Pope Benedict stands accused of deliberately hushing up the abundance of public and private affectiondisplayed between John Paul II and Father Marciel. According to the National Catholic Reporter, a recent leak of 212 Vatican documents shows a fuller story:
"Ratzinger wanted to elevate John Paul to beatification," said [José] Barba, coauthor of La Voluntad de No Saber ("The Will Not to Know"), an analysis of Vatican documents on Maciel [leaked in late 2011]. The book's publication last March  and Benedict's refusal to meet with Maciel victims on a trip to Mexico [in the very same month] ignited an onslaught of bad press for the pope. Benedict had to reckon with the embarrassment of John Paul's praise of Maciel after the 1998 case, in essence scoffing at allegations against one of the most notorious sexual criminals in church history. By keeping a lid on Maciel's secret life, Barba said, Benedict hoped "to defend the sainthood case against the accusations that John Paul protected predators."
After the formal beatification ceremony on 1 May 2011, Pope Benedict could be more forthcoming in acknowledging the depth of Father Marciel's crimes. Meanwhile, Jason Berry has documented how the million dollar gifts of Father Marciel to John Paul II served to cement their friendship and to assure Marciel of papal immunity from prosecution.
Since the death of John Paul II, a number of clergy at the Vatican and laymen throughout the worldhave been referring to the pontiff as "John Paul the Great"—only the fourth pope to be so acclaimed, and the first since the first millennium. Scholars of Canon Law say that there is no official process for declaring a pope "Great"; the title simply establishes itself through popular and continued usage. The three popes who today commonly are known as "Great" are: Leo I, who reigned from 440 to 461 and persuaded Attila the Hun to withdraw from Rome; Gregory I, 590–604, after whom the Gregorian Chant is named; and Pope Nicholas I, 858–867.
His successor, Pope Benedict XVI, referred to him as "the great Pope John Paul II" in his first addressfrom the loggia of St Peter's Basilica, and he referred to Pope John Paul II as "the Great" in his published written homily for the Mass of Repose.
Since giving his homily at the funeral of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI has continued to refer to John Paul II as "the Great". At the 2005 World Youth Day in Germany, Pope Benedict XVI, speaking in Polish, John Paul's native language, said, "As the great Pope John Paul II would say: keep the flame of faith alive in your lives and your people." In May 2006, Pope Benedict XVI visited John Paul's native Poland. During that visit he repeatedly made references to "the great John Paul" and "my great predecessor".
In addition to the Vatican calling him "the great", numerous books and newspapers have also done so. Journalist Peggy Noonan readily titled her book John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father,and Catholic writer Randall Meissen subtitles his book about the pope's influence on Catholic culture, The Spiritual Sons of John Paul the Great. Also, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera called him "the Greatest" and the South African Catholic newspaper, The Southern Cross, has called him "John Paul II The Great".
Pope John Paul the Great was a name suggested by many for Karol Józef Wojtyła. Through all its long history, the Catholic Church has conferred the posthumous title of "Great" on just two popes: Leo I and Gregory I, both of whom reigned in the first thousand years of Christianity
Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the Lord's vineyard. The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers. In the joy of the resurrected Lord, we go on with his help. He is going to help us and Mary will be on our side. Thank you.
Canonization is the declaration of a deceased person as an officially recognized saint, specifically, the official act of a Christian communion declaring a person worthy of public cult and entering their name in the canon, or authorized list, of that communion's recognized saints.
Pope John Paul II was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 until his death in 2005. He was elected pope by the second papal conclave of 1978, which was called after John Paul I, who had been elected in August to succeed Pope Paul VI, died after 33 days. Cardinal Wojtyła was elected on the third day of the conclave and adopted the name of his predecessor in tribute to him. John Paul II is recognised as helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and the rest of Europe.
Pope Paul VI was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council, which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms, and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements.
Pope Benedict XVI is a retired prelate of the Catholic Church who served as the head of the Church and the sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "pope emeritus" upon his resignation.
Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a deceased person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name. Beati is the plural form, referring to those who have undergone the process of beatification; they possess the title of "Blessed" before their names and are often referred to in English as "a Blessed" or, plurally, "Blesseds".
Michael Joseph McGivney was an Irish-American Catholic priest based in New Haven, Connecticut. He founded the Knights of Columbus at a local parish to serve as a mutual aid and fraternal insurance organization, particularly for immigrants and their families. It developed through the 20th century as the world's largest Catholic fraternal organization.
Marianne Cope, also known as Saint Marianne of Molokaʻi, was a German-born American religious sister who was a member of the Sisters of St Francis of Syracuse, New York, and founding leader of its St. Joseph's Hospital in the city, among the first of 50 general hospitals in the country. Known also for her charitable works, in 1883 she relocated with six other sisters to Hawaiʻi to care for persons suffering leprosy on the island of Molokaʻi and aid in developing the medical infrastructure in Hawaiʻi. Despite direct contact with the patients over many years, Cope did not contract the disease.
Narcisa de Jesús Martillo Morán was an Ecuadorian Catholic saint. Martillo was known for her charitable giving and strict devotion to Jesus Christ while becoming somewhat of a hermit dedicated to discerning his will. The death of her parents prompted her to relocate in order to work as a seamstress while doubling as a catechist and educator to some of her siblings who needed caring. But her devotion to God was strong and it led her to live amongst the Dominican religious in Peru where she spent time before her death.
Pope John Paul II was criticised, amongst other things, for lack of any response to sex abuse of children in the Catholic Church.
Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception FCC, also known as Marth Alphonsa, was an Indian Catholic nun and educator. She was the first woman of Indian origin to be canonised as a saint by the Catholic Church, and the first canonised saint of the Syro-Malabar Church, an Eastern Catholic Church based in Kerala. Her feast day is observed on 28 July. During the 1990s St.Alphonsa's stamp was published with the help of Kerala's former minister, K. Karunakaran.
Devasahayam Pillai, known as Lazarus his baptismal name, is a beatified Indian layman of the Catholic Church. Born into a Hindu family in the 18th century, he converted to Catholicism and is considered a martyr of the Christian faith. Pillai was an official in the court of the King of Travancore, Maharaja Marthanda Varma, when he came under the influence of Dutch naval commander, Captain Eustachius De Lannoy, who instructed him in the Catholic faith. He is believed to have been killed by the Travancore state for upholding his Christian faith.
Dulce Pontes, also known as Saint Dulce of the Poor was a Brazilian Catholic Franciscan Sister who was the founder of the Obras Sociais Irmã Dulce also known as the Charitable Works Foundation of Sister Dulce.
María Bernarda Bütler - born Verena Bütler - was a Swiss Roman Catholic professed religious and the foundress of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and a part of the missions in Ecuador and Colombia. Bütler worked for the care of the poor in these places until her exile from Ecuador and entrance into Colombia where she worked for the remainder of her life. Her order moved there with her, and continued to expand during her time there until her death.
Angelo Amato, S.D.B. is an Italian cardinal of the Catholic Church who served as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints between 2008 and 2018. He served as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2002 to 2008 and became a cardinal in 2010.
John Henry Newman was a Roman Catholic theologian, philosopher and cardinal who converted to Roman Catholicism from Anglicanism in October 1845. In early life, he was a major figure in the Oxford Movement to bring the Church of England back to its roots. Eventually his studies in history persuaded him to become a Roman Catholic priest, and he has now become a Saint, having been canonised on 13 October 2019. In 1991, Newman was proclaimed "Venerable" by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints – the first stage in the canonisation process. He was beatified on 19 September 2010 at an open air mass in Birmingham.
Euphrasia Eluvathingal was an Indian Carmelite nun of the Syro-Malabar Church, which is an Eastern Catholic Church in Kerala. Euphrasia is said to have had a vision of the Holy Family, at which point the illness she had long felt ceased. She was canonised as a saint by Pope Francis on 23 November 2014 in Vatican City. Since the beheading of St. John the Baptist is celebrated on August 29, the feast of St. Euphrasia is postponed to August 30.
The canonization process of Pope Pius XII dates to shortly after his death in 1958. He was declared a Servant of God in 1990 and Venerable in 2009. Father Peter Gumpel is currently the relator of Pius XII's cause for canonization.
María del Carmen Sallés y Barangueras – in religious Carmen of Jesus – was a Spanish Roman Catholic professed religious and the founder of the Conceptionist Mission Sisters of Education. Sallés is best known for being a strong advocate of both genders being equal and a staunch defender of the rights of women, since she made this the focus of her life from the beginning of her entrance into the religious life.
Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II reigned as popes of the Roman Catholic Church and the sovereigns of Vatican City. Their canonizations were held on 27 April 2014. The decision to canonize was made official by Pope Francis on 5 July 2013 following the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of John Paul II, while John XXIII was canonized for his merits of opening the Second Vatican Council. The date of the canonization was assigned on 30 September 2013.
Floribeth Mora Diaz is a Costa Rican lawyer who was reportedly the subject of a miracle when she was cured of brain aneurysm. Her case was used to support the canonisation of Pope John Paul II.