VATICAN CITY—Vatican theologians have attributed a second miracle to pope John Paul II, putting him firmly on the path to sainthood, the ANSA news agency reported Tuesday.
Quoting unnamed Vatican sources, ANSA said the new miracle would “amaze the world,” while Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi would not confirm or deny the report when contacted by AFP.
The long road to sainthood requires two “confirmed” miracles, the first of which is necessary for beatification, a hurdle the Polish pope cleared just six months after his death in 2005.
That was the healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, whose recovery from Parkinson’s disease after praying for the late John Paul II’s “intercession” had no medical explanation.
The second miracle reportedly took place on the very day that John Paul II was beatified in a lavish ceremony in St. Peter’s Square on May 1, 2011, but the ANSA report did not describe it.
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints is in charge of examining the “dossiers” of candidates for sainthoods.
For healings to be officially certified as miracles, they must be instantaneous, permanent and with no scientific explanation.
The late pontiff could be formally canonized in October at the close of the “year of faith” launched by his successor Benedict XVI, according to previous media reports.
John Paul II was hugely popular through his 27-year papacy, and at his funeral in 2005, crowds of mourners cried “Santo Subito!”—which roughly translates as “Sainthood Now!”
Benedict XVI was quick to authorize the examination of several reported miracles attributed to John Paul II, even though the process for sainthood usually takes decades if not centuries.
In the early days of the Roman Catholic Church, martyrdom was the more usual grounds for sainthood than the performance of miracles, which in modern days are mostly posthumous.