The late Pope John Paul II will be entering sainthood in the upcoming months, the Vatican announced on Friday. The Polish-born holy man was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005 and is widely considered as the first “rock star pope” for his ability to draw crowds of thousands at his public appearances.
According to CNN, Pope Francis signed a decree on Friday morning that would essentially put John Paul II on the fast track to becoming a saint -- a report that many of his loyal followers would be happy to hear about. After his 2005 death, thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his funeral, during which the crowd loudly chanted “santo subito,” which in Italian means “sainthood now.”
John Paul II’s popularity helped him to become one of the fastest beatified popes in centuries after Pope Benedict XVI allowed for the process, the first step to sainthood, to begin just weeks after his April 2, 2005, death, Fox News reports. But is it all too soon?
In order for a pope to become a saint, at least two miracles in his name must have occurred. John Paul II only has one miracle attributed to his holiness. However, the only miracle that could bring him to the ranks of sainthood concerns a Costa Rican woman, Fox News reports.
The woman, who was reportedly identified by La Razon newspaper as Floribeth Mora, suffered from a brain aneurysm that was unexplainable cured on May 1, 2011, which is the same day John Paul II was beatified. According to news reports from La Razon that were cited by Fox News, Mora woke up with immense head pain that only worsened on April 8, 2011. The Costa Rican was only given a month to live. Her family prayed to John Paul II, and weeks later her illness miraculously disappeared.
Though John Paul II is generally loved by most, his papal reign was plagued by scandals like clerical sex abuse, which reportedly involved 16,400 alleged victims, dysfunctional authority and even financial discrepancies at the Vatican bank.