Yesterday, 5 JULY 2013, amid a number of other significant events at the Vatican, Holy Father Pope Francis received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., Prefect for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, and authorized the Church's recognition of two of our Blessed Holy Fathers as Saints of the heavenly realm: Saint Pope John XXIII and Saint Pope John Paul II.
The faithful have yearned for the recognition of the great Pope John Paul II as a saint in the heavenly homeland since his death in 2005. Now, traveling forward only eight years through a process that can sometimes take a century or better, the Holy Father has confirmed a second miracle attributed the intercession of Blessed Pope John Paul II and approved the promulgation of the decree of his canonization. The Holy Father also yesterday convoked a special consistory of the College of Cardinals to discuss in depth the canonization of the great Pope.
Oft referred to as the Good Pope John, yesterday also saw the somewhat unusual movement of Pope John XIII from the ranks of Blessed to the altars of sainthood following Holy Father Pope Francis' approval the favorable votes of the Ordinary Session of the Congregations of Cardinals and Bishops regarding his cause for canonization. The Vatican spokesman, Father Lombardi, S.J., said yesterday that despite the absence of a second miracle that has been confirmed by the Church as attributable to Blessed Pope John XXIII's intercession, it was the will of Pope Francis that the "Sainthood of the great Pope of the Second Vatican Council be recognized."
Father Lombardi continued, noting that a canonization without a second confirmed miracle is nonetheless valid and that there is already an existing confirmed miracle that led to the Good Pope's beatification. Certainly, Father Lombardi added, the Holy Father has the power to dispense the requirement for a second miracle.
However, no dates were given yesterday, neither of the special consistory nor the canonizations of the two beloved predecessors of Pope Francis. However, Father Lombardi did not rule out that the canonizations of the both Popes would be held together, and he did express his opinion that they would take place before the end of 2013. Any date will be set during the special consistory, which will likely be held this Fall.
A nod of thanks, too, to Father Z, for his insightful thoughts here on the announcement of the canonization of these two great Pontiffs together and during this 50th anniversary year of Vatican Council II.