John Paul II is one step closer to becoming a saint after a special Vatican commission attributed the first miracle to the former Pope.
The commission unanimously agreed that John Paul II had performed a miracle by curing a French nun of Parkinson's Disease. The Vatican received hundreds of reports of miracles attributed to John Paul II’s intervention, but it was the Nun’s testimony of miraculous healing that will be officially used in the beautification process.
After receiving the formal report, Pope Benedict XVI sanctioned the beatification. With the newly authorized miracle, John Paul II has been moved to the final stage before sainthood. One miracle is required for beatification, but a second miracle is needed to be canonized a saint.
Members of the Catholic Church have been demanding John Paul II’s sainthood since his death at the age of 84 on April 2, 2005. And in the fastest process in history, it looks like they will get their wish. Pope Benedict waived a rule requiring a five-year waiting period before the beginning of the process, but directed the commission to carefully exam John Paul’s life so that there could be no doubt of his righteousness.
Two million pilgrims are expected in Rome on May 1st, the date set by Pope Benedict for John Paul's beatification. This will be the first time a Pope has been beatified by his immediate successor.