Vatican to declare Pope John Paul II a saint
July 5th, 2013
08:57 AM ET

Vatican to declare Pope John Paul II a saint

By Hada Messia, CNN

Rome (CNN) - The Roman Catholic Church will declare the late Pope John Paul II a saint, the Vatican announced Friday.

Pope Francis signed the decree Friday morning, the Vatican said. John Paul was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005, and was in a way the first rock star pontiff, drawing vast crowds as he criss-crossed the globe.

At his funeral, thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square and chanted "Santo Subito" - Sainthood Now! The Polish-born pope was fast-tracked to beatification and became "the blessed" John Paul II barely six years after his death, the fastest beatification in centuries.

Pope John XXIII, who convened the Vatican II council in the 1960s, will also be declared a saint, the Vatican said.

No date has been announced for the canonization ceremony.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope John Paul II

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