Sainthood explained: Understanding John Paul II's beatification
Pope John Paul II in Berlin, Germany, in 1996. He will be beatified in Rome on Sunday.
April 26th, 2011
10:41 AM ET

Sainthood explained: Understanding John Paul II's beatification

By John L. Allen, Jr., CNN Senior Vatican Analyst

Rome (CNN) - The beatification of Pope John Paul II this Sunday will probably be the biggest event in Rome since his death in April 2005, with at least 300,000 people expected to turn out for the ceremony and more than 2 million to take part in beatification-related activities in Rome, including a vigil service on Saturday in Rome’s Circus Maximus and visits to John Paul’s tomb.

Beatification is the next-to-last step in the sainthood process. It means the candidate can be referred to as “blessed,” and that one miracle has been confirmed in his or her name. Another miracle is required for canonization, the formal act of declaring someone a saint.

Here are more questions and answers about the process – and about John Paul II:

What is a saint, and how many are there?

Catholics believe a saint is someone who lived a holy life and who’s already in heaven. Saints are considered role models for people still on earth, and are capable of interceding with God on someone’s behalf when a request for help is made in prayer.

The actual number of saints is impossible to calculate. One well-known work called "Lives of the Saints" lists 2,565 Catholic saints but that doesn’t count thousands of others celebrated in local regions all over the world. The Catholic Church has a feast, All Saints’ Day, on November 1 to honor the countless saints who aren’t formally canonized.

So how does one become a saint?

In one sense it’s a democratic process, beginning with a grassroots conviction that a given person lived a holy life. From there, things unfold in three stages. First, Church officials make a study of the person’s life. In John Paul’s case, a four-volume study stretching over more than 2,000 pages was produced, including testimony from more than 100 witnesses.

Next, one miracle after the candidate’s death is required for be beatification - and another for canonization. Usually the miracles are healings, which must be instantaneous, permanent, and complete, in addition to scientifically inexplicable. Catholics see the miracle as God’s seal of approval, a way of verifying that the saint really is in heaven.

As pope, John Paul II made the sainthood process faster and simpler – but it’s still not cheap. The biggest expenses are usually the ceremonies for beatification and canonization. When St. Josemaría Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, was canonized in 2002, Opus Dei estimated that it had spent roughly $1 million on the process from beginning to end, stretching over three decades.

Why the rush to beatify John Paul II?

John Paul’s beatification is the quickest in modern times, made possible because Pope Benedict XVI waived the normal five-year waiting period after death to get someone’s beatification rolling. Benedict was responding to crowds who chanted “Santo Subito!” (Sainthood Now!) at John Paul’s funeral Mass and to a petition signed by the cardinals who elected Benedict.

In one way, the pace of John Paul’s cause is a result of his own policies. He sped up saint-making in 1983, a move meant to lift up contemporary role models of holiness. Since then, at least 20 candidates have been beatified within 30 years of their death. For the record, John Paul’s is not the most “fast-tracked” sainthood of all time. That distinction belongs to St. Anthony of Padua, who died in June 1231 and was canonized less than a year later.

What was John Paul’s miracle?

It concerns a 49-year-old French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001 and whose religious community prayed to John Paul II after his death. After writing the late pope’s name on a piece of paper one night, Sister Marie-Simone reportedly awoke the next morning cured and was able to resume her work as a maternity nurse. The miracle has a poetic arc, since John Paul also suffered from Parkinson’s.

Last year, media reports implied that the sister had fallen ill again and that a physician had questioned the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The Vatican resolved those doubts to its satisfaction, as the miracle was approved by its panels of medical and theological consultants. Sister Marie-Simone will attend the beatification ceremony in Rome this weekend.

Why was John Paul II such a significant pope?

Tradition recognizes 264 popes since St. Peter, described in the Bible as the leader of the disciples of Jesus and regarded by Catholics as the first pope. Only a handful of popes, however, have left a deep mark on history, and John Paul II belongs on that list.

He played a key role in bringing down Communism, made 104 foreign trips and is commonly regarded as having been seen in the flesh by more people than any other figure in history, and improved ties with Judaism and Islam. Internally, John Paul II reenergized Catholicism, inspiring a “John Paul generation” of young lay people, priests and bishops. Some commentators have suggested that he will be remembered as John Paul the Great.

That said, there is debate over some aspects of John Paul’s record, including his handling of the Catholic sexual abuse crisis. Officially, the Vatican insists that beatifying and canonizing a pope is not the same thing as endorsing every decision of his papacy. Instead, it means that despite whatever failures occurred, the pope was nevertheless a holy man.

What’s the next step in making John Paul a saint?

Officials will begin looking for that aforementioned second miracle. If one is approved by the Vatican and by the pope, John Paul II could then be canonized. It’s not clear how long that might take, but there doesn’t seem much suspense about the eventual result: Sooner or later, the Church will add “St. John Paul II” to its list.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Italy • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

soundoff (469 Responses)
  1. t.>_

    Religious ppl think authority creates truth regardless of the reality.
    non-religious think the truth of reality has authority.
    which one do you think makes more sense?

    April 26, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  2. theoldadam

    All those in Christ are saints.

    No matter how good or bad you are. That is the radical nature of the gospel.

    April 26, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  3. MOJO

    If you want to know gain knowledge of the teachings of Catholicism then go to one or all of these sources: http://www.vatican.va
    read the Catechism of the Catholic Church
    read Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly
    attend a few Catholic Masses.
    Another short, but wonderful, book is 7 Secrets of the Eucharist by Vinny Flynn
    and last, but certainly not least, The New American Bible – Fireside Bible Publishers, Wichita, Kansas.
    There is a begining comment that says, "For more than a quarter century, members of the Catholic Biblical Association of America, sponsored by the Bishops' Committee of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, have labored to create this new translation of the Scriptures from the original languages or from the oldest extant form in which the text exist."

    April 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  4. PRISM 1234

    When Pope JohnPaul was alive there was a program on Catholic channel showing him , I believe in a meeting at United Nations, with a group of other religious leaders. I will tell you the truth here: that man stood on the platform and allowed a Hindu (or some other sort of pagan religion ) priest to write something on his forehead, and perform a "blessing ceremony" over him Then they have shown another excerpt where he bent over, bowed down and kissed the Quran. The Catholics must have been very proud of him, showing how "tolerant" he was.
    This is the question I want to ask: what would Paul say if he was there, would he clap his hands in applause, or rebuked this man? What does the Spirit of God say about similar situations as those? His word says " but you flee even from the appearance of evil" and " come out from among them, and be separate" . To have a priest from a demonic religion lay his hands on a believer in Jesus Christ is a sacrilegious! And to kiss a book that DENIES who the Lord Jesus Christ truly is, is another one! ! ! ....
    And then they want to proclaim his beatification? What else this cultic Christian sect will come up with? They desire and are planing provisions for Muslims to join them, that's the last I heard.... Anyone heard about that lately? .... It seems that they are going deeper into darkness all the time, and growing worse as the time passes, leading the blinded mas'ses of brainwashed people....

    April 26, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      PRISM 1234,
      If there are parts of any other religion that holds some Truth those are the parts that should be honored. One thing we must always keep in mind and that is all people belong to God and without His willing us to continue living we would cease to be. We must love our neighbor as ourselves and that means Muslims, Hindus, and others who hate Catholics….otherwise what difference do we profess as Christians if we only love those who love us? Luke 6:32 And if you love them that love you, what thanks are to you? for sinners also love those that love them.

      April 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      I believe I said it once before to you, that you can love someone, yet by not giving them the Truth , and you'll lead them straight to the PORTALS OF HELL itself... To expose error is not hate, unless the one who is in it interprets it as hate, because the truth is offending him....
      The kind of love you're talking bout has deceived many souls, and took them straight to those portals....!

      April 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  5. Colin

    On January 29, 2010, I wrote the following (in relation to the first Australian saint being cannonized):

    "There are essentially three major steps (in being declared a saint). First, the Church must declare that the person was of "heroic virtue", which essentially means that they lived an outstanding life, consistent with the then prevailing doctrines and political views of the Catholic Church.

    Second, the Catholic Church must find that the applicant-saint was responsible for two miracles. The first miracle allows “beatification”, or being put on the path to sainthood, and the second miracle allows “canonization” or the formal declaration of sainthood.

    Under Catholic doctrine, the saint itself cannot perform miracles (why that would be silly). Only the Catholic god can (that, apparently, is not silly). So the story goes that the saint pleads with the Catholic god to perform the particular miracle, God listens and performs it. There is said to have been an “intercession” by the saint. This proves to the Church that the applicant-saint is indeed in heaven and has the ear of the almighty. That this must happen twice is a kind of “double check” that the saint-in-waiting really is interceding on behalf of praying human beings, lest mistakes be made.

    Nowadays, given our knowledge of the World, the “miracles” the Church relies on are virtually always medical recoveries. Not so in the past, where purely natural events such as storms, eclipses, and meteors were regularly accepted as “miracles” by the indulgent, gullible and scientifically illiterate church. Such events would be laughed at today, so the Church is forced to retreat into one of the last dark corners where it can still claim miraculous intervention, that of medical uncertainty.

    The normal course of events today is that a person is dying of a disease and that person prays (only) to the saint-in-waiting. The sick person later gets better, and “the doctors cannot explain why." Hence, the cure is attributed to the intercession of the putative saint. Essentially, “I don’t know” equals God.

    Of course, it is never something unambiguously miraculous, like the re-growing of a severed limb, or the recovery of a lost eye or ear. Never. The “miracle” is always hidden inside the body and fits snuggly into that uncertain zone where something is medically difficult to explain. That area where a miracle can be claimed and never quite disproved.

    Right now, Pope John Paul II has been put on the path to sainthood by Pope Benedict XVI. Normally they would have to wait years from his death to begin the process, but, bowing to Polish political pressure, the Pope, demonstrating perhaps the efficiency he learned while a member of the Hitler Youth (he was, Google it) has started the process early. So the hunt for miracles is on.

    I will make a prediction. In fact, I will bet London to a brick that; (i) in their search for two miracles, they will quickly find them, just like George Bush’s underlings, under pressure, found “slam dunk” evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; and (ii) the two miracles will both be medical “miracles”. The type that lurk in the above shadows. No severed limbs will re-grow, no angels will appear to raise the dead. Nothing clear and unambiguous. Just good, old fashioned cures perfectly explicable by medical uncertainty."

    TA DA – I was right.

    I wonder why it is that one can predict with 100% certainty that every Catholic "miracle" will be a total non-event. Nothing more than an unusual recovery from a disease that is not fully understood.

    So, let me make one more prediction. I bet that the second "miracle" (for his cannonization) will be exactly the same thing. Something totally explicable by medical uncertainty and nothing unambiguously miraculous. I am 100% certain that I will be right. Hmmmm, I wonder why.

    April 26, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  6. Jay

    All I'm really saying is that to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the lamb who was slain for my sins.. is sufficient for salvation. If salvation is based on the Eucharist... how many times does one need to take it? Once? Once a week? Thousands of times over a lifetime? Why not sell the consecrated bread in bottles and provide them for those who can't make it to mass? I just don't get the Eucharist part being the actual body and blood of Christ.

    If the Catholic church had clung to the scriptures.. and not introduced customs and traditions contrary to Scripture, I would have remained in it. Praying to Mary. (Assumption was declared what.. in the 19th century?) No mention of anyone praying to Mary in the Bible. She, herself said she needed a savior. How can she then become sinless - contrary to Paul's statement that "All have sinned, and fallen short...:

    You and I will never agree on the basic principles. Growing up, I saw changes that made no sense at all. Couldn't eat 12 hours before Communion... the 3 hours.. no now just one hour. Give me a break. I would rather simply place my trust on God's word, which does not need anything more added to it.

    April 26, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      If believing is all you need and is sufficient for salvation why does the Bible say:

      St. Matt. 7. 21. ‘ Not everyone that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven’….
      [And what is the will of the Father…that we obey the Word of God …. and not take His Word out of proper meaning so as to make it work for our personal interpretations….that is, to go off and preach another gospel other than the one He wills we hear through whom He has sent.] As the Father sent Jesus with Authority…that is how Jesus sent His Apostles…that we HEAR His Word by someone Sent with authority.

      If they could just dwell on these verses: Mt. 18:3-4; Mt 23:12 [to humble yourself and become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom.] How does a child love? With a love in awe of their parents….such as a protector not as a punisher. We must love God with this same awe…not out of fear of punishment but out of sheer love of God who is deserving of our love and worship. Further, to become true ‘children of God’ we must be ‘born again from above’, through Baptism, Jn 3:1-13; Mt 28:19; Gal 4:19… ‘My little children, of whom I am in labour again, until Christ be formed in you’.

      The fear of the Lord, a gift from the Holy Spirit, is the beginning of Wisdom and the last of the Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, which we receive when we are infused with sanctifying grace. Every time we receive a Sacrament we are again infused with sanctifying grace…when we receive a Sacrament worthily. If we receive a Sacrament unworthily we pile sin upon sin and become distant from Jesus Christ, though we may believe differently by the promptings of the devil.

      The fear of the Lord confirms us with an undying hope in Him who so loves us that we hope He will sanctify us and help us to love Him with the same kind of love as He has for us. It is a lover’s love…one of constant wanting to please, not out of fear of being physically or mentally pained by our lover but out of so wanting to show how much we love Him.

      So how is it that we suffer illnesses, losses of various kinds, depression, etc. if God loves us so much? What Father does not discipline his child because he loves him and knows what is best for him? Some ask, ‘Why should a little child lay dying in a hospital who never did anything wrong in their whole life?’ These do not understand ‘pick up your cross and follow Me’ is not just for adults. We all may have disasters afflict us from tornadoes and mud slides and suffer, even die, and satan has a great deal to do with that. Satan hopes that all this suffering will cause people to lose their faith….a parent whose child is suffering may say… ‘if God can do this to my child…I will hate Him for it forever’…just what satan is hoping for….but sometimes it back-fires on satan…because the parent whose faith was lukewarm which is the kind of faith that Jesus Christ would rather start vomiting out of his mouth if we be neither hot or nor cold [Apocalypse 3:16, Douay-Rheims Bible] changes and becomes a faith that is filled with love for Christ and not out of fear but out of love for Him. Realizing that our sufferings can be turned into good for the one suffering or for others is a huge blessing. We know not how God can take something bad [in our eyes] and turn it into good but with our knowledge of Him we know it is true so we take up our cross and follow Him.

      We do the best we can with what blessings of Wisdom and Knowledge have been bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit…and knowing that sin separates us from God should prompt us to confess and repent of it in the manner that He wants us to, not in our way but His. No, nothing can separate us from Him but our own will to do our will, not the Father’s will. He will never separate Himself from us…we do the walking away ourselves….Remember…even satan believes but is he saved?

      April 27, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • gerald


      The devil believes so does he have salvation?

      The one cast out in Matt 5 says "LOrd when did we see you hungry ....". Do they have salvation to? Don't think Matt 25 supports that.

      Jesus said not everyone who says "lord , lord" shall enter the kingdom but those who DO the will of the father.

      April 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • gerald

      God's word doesn't need anything added to it, that is except your interpretation. Still waiting for that passage that allows you to call the Lord's Supper merely a symbol? I don't see anything in scripture that refers to it as a symbol. So it seems your interpretation has been added to scripture. Paul says "no scripture is of personal interpretation".

      April 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      If you believe Scripture then you believe these verses where Jesus is talking to His Apostles: Saint John 14 ‘ And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. [17] The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you. [18] I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you. [19] Yet a little while: and the world seeth me no more. But you see me: because I live, and you shall live. [20] In that day you shall know, that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
      But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. [27] Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [28] You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come unto you. If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I. [29] And now I have told you before it comes to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe. [30] I will not now speak many things with you. For the prince of this world cometh, and in me he hath not any thing.

      Jesus Christ promised the Holy Spirit to teach and bring into remembrance all that He told the Apostles. Do you believe He has kept His promise? I do. When the Holy Spirit brings the Church into the fullness of Truth it is by His promise.

      When Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of Mary he did so in conjunction with the Bishops and from the chair of Vicar of Christ. All Popes in history that have proclaimed Truths from the Chair of Peter in this way have never failed in delivering the Truth to the people, not even a Pope that was otherwise not a holy Pope; this can only happen because the Holy Spirit is doing exactly as He promised…protecting His Church from evil and guiding Her into the fullness of Truth ‘as we can bear it’. The Bible tells us that Jesus was sent by the Father with Authority; Jesus surprised the people with His Authority and they exclaimed how amazing ‘that God had given such power to ‘men’’. This power/Authority was given to Jesus’ Apostles by Jesus but not before He had established His Church and inst!tuted the Sacraments.

      If you believe that Jesus Christ is God then Mary is the Mother of God. If you believe that Mary said that she needed a Savior you can know that Jesus Christ saved her from original sin at her conception. If you believe that you are a child of God then Jesus who is the Son of God is your Brother….and Mary is your Mother, too. If you believe that Jesus Christ would honor His Mother, and commands that we honor ours, too, why wouldn’t you want to emulate Him in all things? If the Bible says that Mary is full of grace why cannot you believe it? [Being full of grace means no room for sin.] If Mary says that she is the humble handmaiden of our Lord why do we not emulate her and become humble before our Lord because we know that those who humble themselves before the Lord will be exalted. Mary says her soul magnifies the Lord…magnifying something makes it larger and easier for us to see! Thank you, Mary, for saying, ‘Yes’!

      Because we believe that the Bible is the Word of God and because we understand that for nearly 400 years people lived without the Bible, they must have thrived on Tradition which is what the Apostles had HEARD from Jesus and passed on to other ‘good’ men who would carry on the mission as Jesus had SENT them to do. Jesus knew these men would need to pass on the mission as they could not accomplish it in their own lifetimes. You do not throw out any Truth just because you get fullness in time.

      We have the Church Fathers and Church Doctors writings to examine, too. Not to mention the Truth that is written in our hearts to begin with. That seed is grace aplenty to grow in Faith if we only desire it. I can also say that Faith is something that grows just like a lovely flower with nurturing. Do you expect a flower to grow without its needs…sunlight and water, at least? No. We cannot expect our Faith seed to grow without proper nourishment. For me, my needs are met in the Church…being fed by the Sacraments, I not only kept my Faith alive but it has flourished; it is by the grace of God and all I have to do is bask in His goodness offered freely to me.

      The Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth…it is by Tradition and the Magisterium and the Bible which holds us all together by the grace of God…do not lose your way….

      April 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • gerald

      CatholicMom, hope you see this. You da bomb with that post!

      April 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  7. juststoppingby


    Thanx for the information. Will read it when I have time. But the new testament is a large group. Are these guys talking about the authorship of st Mathew's gospel as appears from your post or all the books? Certainly st John was written by st John. As for the others, it's generally accepted tradition that though the penmanship wasn't by the apostles, much of the content came from them through their disciples who learned at the feet of the holy apostles. Nevertheless, it should prove educational for me, so thanx again.

    April 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  8. Amalia Sheran Sharm

    I think it's funny that the church spends so much time declaring itself to be above popular opinion, yet it leaps on a blatant PR move like making JP2 a saint. Hey Ratzi, reminding people of a much more popular pope isn't going to make yourself any more popular.

    April 26, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  9. FifthApe

    I wish there were a hell for this pope to go to. The amount of human suffering (blood) on his hands due to the preachings of his church are incalculable.

    April 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  10. MJDVike

    Biggest problem I have on first reading of the article is that the EDITOR does not even know that what he really is talking about is NOT about how one becomes a saint – but about the process used by the Catholic Church to formally recognize someone as a saint. The Church teaches – for those who claim to be Catholic and don't know what the Church teaches – that there are many, many, countless saints in heaven. There are millions who have lead holy lives but that have never been FORMALLY recognized by the Church as saints. People who talk about a topic without knowledge of a topic are 'the blind leading the blind.' Inform yourself before you try to inform others!

    April 26, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  11. andrew

    So...basically Jesus is telling us to be zombies like him?

    April 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  12. No Saint

    For one thing, it has been brought out that the person whom Pope John Paul II allegedly "healed" fell ill again, therefore, the healing was not permanent. So, the so-called 'healing' should be discredited and if they wish to try again, the process should start again from scratch so that there can be no questions left unanswered, no stone left unturned. Has the Vatican not been made aware of the situation that the person fell ill again!

    Another thing about 'making saints' is the lingering question as to why they don't canonize a saintly person while they are Still Alive! There is absolutely no reason not to. That way, the living saint could better travel far and wide to meet and help people where people would know how to reach them and perhaps help them also directly in some way for their mission of kindness. That makes much better sense, logically speaking, than to do it after a person has passed-on and then have to wait five years, but why not wait just one year or even just six months or no waiting period at all? But then, when the succeeding pope wants his predecessor, most likely a good friend, to be made a saint, he now has the power to do it quickly with all of the blessings of a gullible public eager to believe that the pope to be beatified actually performed the miracle instead of giving full and proper credit to God who is the actual performer of All Miracles through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ!

    April 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Ed

      No saint, The nun had Parkinson's disease currently medical science can not heal Parkinson's. After The group Prayed to John Pual II and the nun wrote his name down she was healed of Parkinson's. She has fallen ill again but not with Parkinson's so that was healed. The requirment is not the person never gets sick again just they don't get the same thing again. Some of her doctors are saying they were wrong and she did not have Parkinson's but other say she did and does not now. I don't kow what she has now buts its not Parkinson's. So if she had Parkinson's she has been healed and it is at least so far permanent. The Vatican is aware of it and has look into it and has determeined she had Parkinson's and does not now she has something else. Which makes it a valid healing if its true. The Pope does not choose his successor that cardinals do that after he dies he gets no say in the manner.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • PeterVN

      Ed, coincidence does not prove causality. In other words, there is no proof that the writing was the cause of the Parkinsons remission. Not only that, one case such as the one you describe is not strong evidence. Diseases go into remission without intervention too, for a variety of reasons. A 100% success rate for many, many cases brought to the same person and healed with the same procedure could be somewhat more convincing, but even then, we would look for other explanations including what else had changed, geographic factors, and so on.

      Of course, one also has to ask why god lets so many Parkinson's patients suffer such terrible and tragic demises. That alone should make you question the existence of your god.

      April 26, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Ed


      First let start by saying I don't know why God lets some people with Parkinson's su ffer and hea led this nun. I can not know God's w ill or why he does what he does. You point is valid I just don't have a good answer I'm sorry I wish I did.

      Second, you are correct I can not prove the praying to John Paul II or writing his name healed the di sea se. I am not a me dical profes sional but as for as I know Parkinson's has no cure and does not go into remmission it can be countrolled with medication but always eventually ki ll s the aff licted. This nun was dia gn osed with Parkinson's then it went away. It went away after the praying to Jphn Paul II and writing down his name. It is possible that it is all compeletly unrelated. She is i ll again but not with Parkinson's. It is possible it was a mis diag noses. It is possible it just went away. But it possible it was a miracle. It is possible God hea led her because John Paul II asked him to. It is possible he hea led solely becasue he wanted to. Einstein once said "you can look at every thing in life as if it is a miracle or nothing is." So its up to you to decide for yourself will you look at this as a miracle or not. The choice is yours. I have made mine. By the way The quote from Einstein is not given to imp ly he was in any way a be liever in God. I am only saying that he made the statement not that he be lieved in God. I am aware he also made statements that he was an athiest and some that he was an agnostic. It does not matter to me what his belief was or was not that is between him and God. He did make the statement and I think he was just trying to say whether or not you be lieve in God you can believe in miracles and its up to you to decide if you do or not. So in the case on the nun I leave your decision where it belongs with you. I have made my choi ce but that is my choi ce alone and should not have bea ring on anyone else's choi ce. I can not prove it was a miracle and you can not prove it was not so your choi ce is up to you.

      Sorry for the multiple post but the mo der ation pro gram fla gg ed it I dodn't know why

      April 27, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  13. Logan

    Here is how it is. If you are not a saint before you die, you are not a saint after you die. And to my Christian brothers and sisters residing in the Catholic church, if you are praying to anyone other than God you are wrong. Prayer is a form of worship. Worship is what God requires of us and the bible tells us plenty of times to worship no one or idol or put anything before Him. Remember people that this is what Lucifer was cast out of heaven for, because he wanted to be worshiped as God was. Think about it.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Ed

      Logan Pray is a latin word which translates to speak not worship. When you pray you speak when you pray to God you speak to God. If you never pray to anyone else you never speak to anyone else. So unless you simply don't speak to anyone you pray to other people all the time. Worship is something else. You can use prayer to worship but you can use prayer to speak as well. When catholics pray to siants we are speking to them asking the to speak to God on our behave we are not worshiping them. With worship God not the saints. If you have every asked a friend to pray for you to god about anything you are doing the same thing.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      God alone is worshiped in the Catholic faith. The Saints are just examples of how we should live. No one "worships" them. Asking someone to pray for you is not worship. Since God obviously favors them already, what harm is there in asking them to pray for us? If you are going to hate us, at least do it for the right reasons instead of ignorance.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  14. Mike Peralta


    According to a young girl (Angelica Zambrano) in Ecuador.
    Pope John Paul II is now in Hell.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  15. Mike Peralta


    According to a divine revelation that a young girl (Angelica Zambrano)
    had in Ecuador, Pope John Paul II is currently in Hell. http://spiritlessons.com

    April 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • gerald

      Well then it must be true or maybe someone appeared to her as an "angel of light" but was a demon.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      and no doubt you will follow him. Christians are not supposed to Judge so I can't say for sure, but you obviously don't believe or accept Christianity.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Hi -SouthCelt...

      I'm curious here, and very well aware that I could be wrong in my interpretation of your posting, but aren't 'you' in fact 'judging' here...?



      April 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
  16. UppityAgainSpeaks

    Sure glad there is the Internet to weed out kooks. Hope all you theologians, believers, non-believers, flower children or otherwise misfit do not intend to run for public office. Bluntly, only WASP are really qualified – great pun intended.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  17. Artist


    That would be my point compared to the general population very few priest have commited pedophilia however you are condemning all priest. More fathers do it but most don't more teachers do it but most don't. I can not excuse the ones that do. They should be defrocked and executed but in the same way its not fair to blame all fathers for what some fathers do to their children or all teachers for what some do its simply not fair to blame all priest for what some do.


    The church took an active role in allowing it to continue and attempting to cover it up. The pope is the head and in charge and was aware. The raping had the blessing of the pope and leadership. The pope is equally disgusting and should have had his b@ lls ripped from his body. After he died, they should have allowed all the victims in the world to walk by and p! ss on his body. It would have been fitting. He was no saint, nor was he holy.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Ed


      I can not defend the action of the church. It is unclear how much John Paul II was aware of the problem. He was the head of the church and therfore bears responsibilities for its failings. In a organization the size of the catholic church it is impossible for the guy at the top to know everything so you are being unfair to him without proof he knew.

      Also by your arguement the principle of every schol where a child was molested should be executed they are the head of the scholl and therfore responsible for the actions of there subordinates. The uperindentdent also must be executed. The mother that lets the father get away with it etc. I can not excuse the actions on the priest in questions they should be defrocked and executed. I can excuse the actions by the church to ignore or cover it up. But not every one in the church is evil lets not just kill them all please

      April 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • gerald

      It is false and prejudice to say that the acts had the blessing of the Pope. Total nonsense.

      April 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  18. John

    The amount of hatred and judgement that spews out of "Christians" never ceases to amaze me.
    Was John Paul II perfect – of course not and he would have been the first to agree with that. Was he an amazing human being by any standard – absolutely.
    *Not Catholic and definitely not "born again" – feel free to tell me how your God is going to torture me for all eternity because I'm not "born again" – it validates my perceptions.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  19. andrew

    Honestly, jaime lewis, its probably because Catholicism is generally accepted as the oldest sect of Christianity. Of course, if you count the fact that they "borrowed" the first half of the Bible from the first 5 chapters of the Jewish Torah, well......

    April 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • gerald

      Of course we did because Catholicism is the fullfillment of God's word in the Old Testament. The CC is more Jewish than Jews today.

      April 26, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  20. Melanie

    Andrew, please read my post again. I also said that that he may have been a good person in general. I just think the whole Pope position is a crock. It's a useless position and as I said, all I ever hear is them say NO to any reasonable request, and praying for Peace. And we all know how well that's going.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Blanchard

      Melanie: On the whole, I (a Catholic) agree with you that the position of Pope is pretty useless since they are often encased in so many levels of beauracrcy that they have no idea what is happening in the 'real' world. Kids are dying at the rate of approximately 30,000 per day from malnutrition and yet the church opposes birth control. Go figure. Don't get me started on AIDS and condoms. Yet, I lived through John 23rd's papacy. Though short lived in time as a pope, he proved that a pope could stand the church on its head and rotate it. He was almost single handly responsible for Vatican II. And, the reactionaries like Benedict will NEVER close those windows. I didn't like many of JP II's beliefs. But, as a world stage politician, he used the papacy in his early years to truly change the face of Europe. He brought down the Berlin Wall and many communist dominated countries. Most are not old enough to remember those and the changes he made. So, I look at the good he did and the fact that he was so insulated from reality that he probably had no idea of the clergy abuse 'cover up'. Whasn't it Shakespeare that said something like 'The evil men do lives on. The good is often interred with their bones.' That is a sad commentary on many of the good things JP II did.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • TLeslie

      This is pretty much directed to everyone that has posted all the hate filled rhetoric... With every word of hate and vile contempt you lower yourselves in the eyes of God. Just something to think about when your hoping to get through those pearly gates.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • gerald

      The Pope useless? There are 30,000 protestant denominations (yes in fact there are, check bartletts book of Christianity) each teaching something different. I can go anywhere in the world and know where I am at in the worship service and what the Church I am in teaches. I can accept or reject it but I know what they teach. You can't walk accross the street from one baptist Church to another and know if they agree on anything.

      April 26, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • gerald

      didn't finish out my point. What I said above would not be possible without the unifying effect of the papacy.

      April 26, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.