I sat down at the computer this morning and was pleased to see this breaking news – today, Pope Francis has approved the final decree to canonize the two pontiffs and declare them saints. The usual process of declaring someone a saint is an interesting one, it involves both recognizing their heroic and holy virtues during their life and then identifying and vetting at two miracles attributed to the saint. Some refer to the identification of miracles as ‘divine approval’ of the canonization, and proof that the person is in Heaven with God and can intercede on our behalf.
Pope John Paul II was the only pope I knew during most of my life, and watching him suffer through his long illness with grace and humility was inspiring. Critics point to problems during his pontificate, but I have heard it said that when you are canonizing a pope you are looking at their personal holiness and not necessarily the results of their pontificate. One needs to read only a little about Pope John Paul II’s life to know that he was a man of great personal holiness and provides a phenomenal example to strive for in this regard.
I honestly don’t know much about the life of Pope John XXIII, but I do know that he convoked the Second Vatican Council and lived a dedicated and simple life even after being elected pope.
This is all very good news, hopefully by the end of the year the canonization ceremony will take place! Santo Subito!