ROME — The Vatican says Pope John Paul II is to become a saint.
Pope Francis has authorised a second miracle attributed to the late pontiff, clearing the way for his canonisation, which is expected later this year.
The Polish-born pontiff led the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005.
Pope Francis also approved the sainthood of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963), though no second miracle has been attributed to his intercession.
A precise date for the canonisations will be set by a meeting of cardinals, the Vatican said.
John Paul II has been on a fast-track to sainthood since his death. Just six years later he was beatified by his successor Pope Benedict XVI.
Canonisation, the final step in declaring a deceased person a saint, requires the attribution of one further miracle to the intercession of the candidate after they have been beatified.
An “inexplicable recovery” on the very day of John Paul II’s beatification has been assessed as a miracle by the Vatican’s saint-making department, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and Pope Francis has now approved that decision.
John Paul II streamlined the path to sainthood, and himself created more saints than all previous popes combined.
Pope John XXIII reigned from 1958 until 1963 and was known as “Good Pope John” because of his kindly demeanour.
The Italian convened the Second Vatican Council but died before it was completed.
He was beatified by John Paul II in 2000. (BBC)