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

soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. JD Author

    I think people expect "Today's Miracles – Film @ 11!" When in fact they may have happened in their own lives and can't recognize the event for what it really was – just a miracle. I've had to live with this problem for 20 years and finally I'm about to finish and release the entire story as sent to the Vatican in June for investigation – "John Paul II's Untold Miracles Revealed in The Lemonade Stand" by JD. Check it out at http://www.the-lemonade-stand.org!

    August 15, 2013 at 4:25 am |
  2. ronvan

    CURIOUS? HOW is it that a FEW religious people can VOTE to make someone a saint? One commenters statement indicates that the RCC, the Pope, is told by GOD who is a saint? Does that mean the RCC is the only church that has a "personal" contact with God? Part of the arguments are that an individual, mainly those of the RCC faith, have done or performed some kind of miracle that cannot be explained? What about those "normal people" that do " super" powers, miracles, that cannot be explained, to help save another human?

    July 11, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Saraswati

      I am not a Catholic, but it is my understanding that they are not voting to make someone a Saint but to recognize sainthood, which is entirely independent of their vote. It's more like "So guys, do you think it's fair to tell the people this guy made it to heaven and can be prayed to?"

      July 11, 2013 at 8:40 am |
  3. Have A Delicious Biscuit


    Well golly gosh, I hope he prays for all of the victims he kept quiet.

    July 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  4. Let me get this straight

    So pedophile priests and the popes (that let them get away with it) will go to heaven and become saints because they believe in John 3:16 right?

    July 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • EX catholic

      Not so! Neither you or them will enter Heaven without Faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God. IDOLATRY is NOT Religion.

      July 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  5. Peasant who looks strangely like John Cleese

    Pope John Paul II turned me into a newt!!!!

    I got better.

    July 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  6. EX catholic

    Totally ridiculous!! IDOLATRY is not Religion, IDOLATRY is a SIN a very grave and serious SIN.

    July 7, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      That's why apostasy is better...

      July 7, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • EX catholic

      cheesy cheese,

      One is as the other, for any practical purpose/discussion they are just about the same. Neither you or them will enter the Kingdom of Heaven without Faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

      July 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  7. Thinking Man

    It sounds like it will probably take at least another two generations before science and technology will trump religion around the world. There is a growing trend away from religious faith toward the rational thought that, like it or not, there is no everlasting life. Until that time wars will continue to be fought and legal and ethical battles will proliferate based upon various religious groups belief that they only know the answers. They may fight to the end to defend those beliefs. Legitimate rights will continue to be trampled in the name of morality while religious factions will endorse even more heinous acts in the service of maintaining their brand. Sadly, I shall not live to see the demise of religion but at least I will not have to endure an everlasting life.

    July 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  8. Laughter is good

    Well it's good never to take anything too seriously, not even McPasta.

    July 7, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  9. The Fladaboscan

    "Jesus, we have found a man who has lived a wonderful life and two people have reported that he has done miracles, so the leaders of your church have labeled him Holy."

    "They WHAT?"

    July 7, 2013 at 7:34 am |
  10. V. Straaten

    Catholicism is a different species, a different animal. It sometimes runs parallel to biblical Christianity, sometimes gets closer to it, then takes off at a tangent far far away from truth as Christians from the earliest times have known it.

    Who is a saint, how you become a saint and a host of other matters is in the New Testament for all to read. Who prays to departed men. Only Catholics do!

    Francis the Pope’s detachment from the pomp, the
    pageantry of the Catholic Church is all fine and commendable, but what eternal purpose does it serve to put a house in order if that house is not founded on the teachings of Christ?

    July 7, 2013 at 6:42 am |
    • The Fladaboscan

      I'd like someone to show me where Jesus recommended that the leader of his church be one of the richest men in the world. Now don't go saying that the pope isn't rich because all that stuff belongs to the church. The pope has his own country, castles to live in, the best artwork, the finest cloths, any food that he wants, a popemobile, even hats with rare jewels.

      I really doubt that that's the way Jesus wanted his church run. I'm not anti-Catholic and indeed would say the same thing about people like Rick Perry, Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, the House of Saud...

      July 7, 2013 at 7:38 am |
  11. Woody

    Are there any "Saint" experts out there? Just what are the advantages of being an "official" saint? I was always told by believers that anyone, who lived their life as a good person, gets a one way ticket to Heaven. Aren't ordinary, run of the mill dead people, now residing in Heaven, considered saints? Does being declared a saint, get you special privileges and perks? Do you get a fancier house? Do you get a bigger harp? Is there a snobby "Members Only" Country Club that only "official" saints can get into? I was always curious about this. Someone out there must know the answers.

    July 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Not an expert Woody but, presuming your questions are genuine, perhaps I can help. Your perspective that one would become a Saint because of any number of materialistic rewards is flawed. Materialism and temporal comforts would be antiithetical to most of the Saints. Even though some were born to privilege, a great many gave away their inheritance and suffered martyrdom for their faith. One does not make themselves a saint in the way one would make himself a teacher or a businessman. God makes the saints and reveals them to the Church. The Church then announces the revelation. The Saints are given to us as models, as people who most ardently united themselves to Christ in some fashion or another while alive and enjoy his immediate consolation upon their death. Your question about those who are in heaven being saints is pointed and the answer is yes. The difference is that big "S" Saints are recognized as extraordinary examples.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I'm not a believer, so I do not accept the ideas @Bill Deacon presents; however, I do appreciate the concise nature of Bill's post. Well done.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  12. Reality

    The RCC is crashing to the ground in a tsunami of pedophilia law suits and the resulting red ink. Throw in all the flawed theology and history and you have the ringing sound of the death knell of the RCC and religions in general. And the sainthood of JP will not be of any help.


    July 5, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • midwest rail

      I highly doubt "red ink" will do them much damage. They've been very successful at transferring/hiding assets to avoid that.

      July 6, 2013 at 5:45 am |
    • nelson jones


      I hope you are right about the Roman Catholic Cult crashing due to its self-inflicted problems. Not to pick on just the RCC, I hope the same happens to all the religious cults in the world.

      Regrettably, until religious indoctrination of children is recognized for the Child Abuse it really is, and outlawed, until the individual is old enough to use reason and think critically, these cults will continue to grow by infecting the minds of children with their individual religious viruses.

      July 7, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  13. Thought Purification

    what's a point in calling someone saint when he is dead? Why wasn't he called Saint when he was alive?

    July 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • not beheaded

      Peter was called Satan, Paul described himself as cheif of sinners... while God does miracles, such as Jesus dying for our sins and raising again the third day, so that people who believe God, can be saved.

      1Ti 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did [it] ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

      God choses, judges and saves. It is up to him what he wants to do.

      July 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Reality

      (from Professor JD Crossan's book, "Who is Jesus" co-authored with Richard Watts)

      "Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

      "Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets." Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."

      "In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life."

      July 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      God is a "she" not a "he". Why would anyone say she is a he ?
      Jebus was but one of the many dying and rising gods of the day.
      They were a dime a dozen in years around 100 BCE – 1– CE. How would you know which one was which ?
      If a child of the gods died IN TIME to appease the gods, it refutes their timeless (eternal) nature. It means the gods CHANGED...... AFTER the death. It's philosophical nonsense, and requires that the gods exist in absolute linear time.
      Actually "existence" (being) itself requires absolute linear time. A god who "exists" cannot be the creator of reality, if it requires time for it's existence, (or ant other property of reality).

      July 6, 2013 at 7:31 am |
  14. MrCrewel Dude

    As a Pastafarian, I have 2 laugh at this primitive religion's.

    July 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  15. Bootyfunk

    John Paul II - patron saint of buggery.

    July 5, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
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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.