September 30th, 2013
08:55 AM ET

Popes John XXIII and John Paul II to be declared saints in April

From Ben Wedeman, CNN

(CNN) - Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will be declared saints in April, the Vatican said Monday.

The announcement came after Pope Francis met with cardinals to discuss the planned canonizations of two of his predecessors. The ceremony will take place on April 27.

It will be the first time two popes will be canonized at the same time.

To be named a saint involves a series of steps, but the qualifications are straightforward, according to the veteran Vatican analyst John Allen.

"You put a holy life and two miracles together, according to the Catholic system, you've got a saint," he said.

- CNN Religion Editor

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

soundoff (782 Responses)
  1. Nicolle Delaet

    Thanks for the heads up, great post.


    November 15, 2013 at 12:35 am |
  2. Extra Medium

    So God doesn't make men saints; men make men saints. Sound like a big pontifzi scheme

    October 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  3. Doc Vestibule

    Beavers are fish, according to the RCC.
    As a form of penance in honor of the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross on Good Friday, Catholics are supposed to abstain from eating meat on Fridays.
    When Catholic explorers came to the new world, their diets obviously changed to what could be found in the local environment. In order to make sure they were pleasing the Pope, these early settlers wrote to the Vatican for clarification of what was meat and what was considered fish (which is OK to eat on friday).
    So it turns out that pretty much any animal that spends a lot of time in the water is considered a fish. This includes beavers, alligators, manatees, otters, penguins, capybaras, turtles etc.
    If you head down to Venezuela, they still eat capybaras during lent!
    Mmmm... enormous ichthyan rodent.....

    October 3, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  4. AvdBerg

    The Declaration of Saints an Abomination

    For a better understanding of the declaration of Saints by the Pope we invite you to read the article 'Sainthood by the Pope', listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    October 2, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • No Thanks

      And I'd skip the next house – they are Jewish. Watch that broken step on your way back out.

      October 2, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

      You're a towel!

      October 2, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • doobzz

      Why would I want to read that crap?

      October 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Spreading propaganda again. Tell me, why is it you must spread the word of your imaginary friend? Is it not powerful enough to do it itself?

      October 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Jericho

      Shut up, you spamming troll.

      October 2, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  5. Reverend Ambush

    Do saints get any special protections in H.ell? Because there's no way he was unaware of the molestation scandal and he declined to help. No God deserving of worship would ever let someone with that much to answer for in to Heaven. Maybe Lucifer will let him have a small fan?

    October 2, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

      Satan: [having been told his guests don't care about the Acura cake] It's not about them, it's about meeeeeeeeee!
      Satan's minion: Wow, what a jerk.

      October 2, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  6. saggyroy

    Can't wait til the Saints play the Lions.

    October 2, 2013 at 6:02 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Looking forward to the rematch?

      October 2, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      On the football field or the gladiator arena?

      October 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Felix

      Grand old tradition that, christians as cat food, should be started again, yummy.

      October 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  7. Reality # 2

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah/Argentine white men and heavenly saints/popes and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    October 1, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  8. Doris

    Well here's an interesting CNN story from 2012 regarding a saint.

    [ "Mexico City (CNN) - Authorities in the northern Mexican state of Sonora have arrested eight people accused of killing two boys and one woman as human sacrifices for Santa Muerte - the saint of death - officials said Friday.

    The victims, two of whom were age 10, were killed and their blood was offered at an altar to the saint, according to Jose Larrinaga, spokesman for state prosecutors. The accused were asking the saint, who is generally portrayed as a skeleton dressed in a long robe and carrying a scythe, for protection, he said.

    Santa Muerte is a favorite among criminals and the country's drug traffickers. The saint, though not recognized by the Catholic Church, has taken off in popularity in recent years.

    Many of the accused belong to the same family and one is just 15 years old, the PEI said. " ]

    Supposedly their cult (the Holy Death), claims to have 5 million members worldwide, and is a blend of Christianity, Indian traditions and folk beliefs that arose in the 1940s in poor Mexico City neighborhoods and subsequently spread throughout the country. It has it's principle church in Mexico City. They are, of course shunned by the Catholic Church – I would imagine much in the same way that some Lutherans shun the Pope.

    I'm sure they think they are doing the Lord's work.

    October 1, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • Dippy

      Its, not it's.

      October 1, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
      • EnjaySea

        But Dippy, "Its, not it's.", is not a complete sentence.

        Let's go with: It's not it's, it's its."

        October 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Its is not it's, it's is it's. Isn't it?

          October 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • EnjaySea

          What Bill said...

          October 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • Dippy

          I like it! That's what I'll use from now on. The grammatically challenged won't get it, but it's still funny. Thanks.

          October 2, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • doris

      agreed. so, they are a wonderful group of devout christians. they follow perfectly in the steps of their lord. great, great story.

      i'm reminded of one of the greatest saints of modernity, the beloved st. charles (manson). even those reluctant to credit christianity with many transformed lives, even they marvel at st charlie

      October 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  9. St. Paul

    2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

    October 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      There's no evidence for that.

      October 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        You mean there is no evidence those who are not in Christ can see.

        October 2, 2013 at 9:26 am |
        • sam stone

          right, bill, like only those in the know can see the little green men

          October 2, 2013 at 10:01 am |
        • doobzz

          @ Boof Deacon

          Oooh, only the special, special people will be able to see the emperor's new clothes! LMAO!

          October 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          So someone "in Christ" can tell whether others are "in Christ" objectively?

          I'm sure a test could be arranged. 3 "in" Christians identify other "in" Christians in a double blind study; see how they do against random chance....
          Perhaps, 2 studies, one with interviews and one without...?

          October 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          me II how did you get that from what I posted?

          October 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          I thought your statement implied that there was something see-able by people who are "in Christ" and figured that such an ability should be testable, if true.
          Is that not what you were saying?

          October 2, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          If I see a person I used to know and we begin to talk, sometimes I may notice that he has changed. His outlook is different, his approach to life and his view of himself has changed. Perhaps he has given up old vices or ways of thinking that used to trouble him or hinder his enjoyment of life. If I ask him what happened to me and he says "I have been made new in Christ", who am I to doubt his testimony? I can see the new creation. It is visible in his eyes and his manner. Where once stood a my old acquaintance, I now converse with a radically different person who confesses to me that it is not by his doing but the Holy Spirit that his life is changed. I don't have to know whether he is in Christ or not, but I can accept that his experience is genuine.

          October 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Why do you persist in testing Christ when your desire should be to meet Him?

          October 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          Ah, so what you were saying was, "... there is no evidence those who are not in Christ [will accept as evidence.]" Is that fair?

          "Why do you persist in testing Christ when your desire should be to meet Him?"

          I would love to meet Jesus, but for some reason it has not happened. Testing is one way of determining the truth of a matter. Either Jesus is real and has not revealed himself to me, for whatever reason, or He simply doesn't exist. Many will claim that I have not made a proper attempt, but without objective measures that is a tautology, as it assumes that any attempt that fails is not "proper", or sufficient.

          In other words, how else does one determine truth, but to test ones assumptions, environment, etc..

          October 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • sam stone

          bill: if your desire is to meet christ, what are you doing down here?

          October 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • sam stone

          bill: did you find christ at the bottom of a bottle?

          October 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          No sam, I found him at the foot of a cross.

          MEII, I can accept your "testing" in a broad manner of speaking. I think you may be testing the wrong parameters though. You seem to be looking for a photographic image or a strand of DNA, like a police officer. The saints (who I will rely on after the fashion of this article) consistently tell us that what we should be testing, so to speak, is the measure of our commitment to the betterment of others, the depths to which our selfishness runs, and the truth about the temporary nature of our lives when held up next to eternity. My observation is that most Americans, self included, are so far skewed towards secular, material hedonism that they can't even really comprehend the idiom the saints speak in.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          @MEII, to complete my thought. I believe that no person who follows that path of self mortification and earnest seeking of Jesus will be disappointed. I just don't think it's possible to contemplate one's own life in relation to that of Christ's and come away without enough evidence to convince, perhaps not a committee, but certainly one's self.

          I can tell you that deliberately choosing a Christina life has not been the path of least resistance for me and there have been many times I would have preferred to abandon my conviction that He was calling me to Him in preference for a bottle, or a woman, or more horsepower or more money or whatever. But the truth is the truth and that is that all those things erode and fade but one thing remains and that is Christ crucified and resurrected. Once you realize that, there's no putting the genie back in the bottle and the former world passes away. One literally becomes a new creation, with new eyes and a new mind.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Given that there is not a shred of evidence for any god, what BD found at the foot of some pagan symbol was a delusion that gives him a warm and fuzzy feeling. Like all who claim to be believers, he is mentally ill and/or a liar, possibly both. Unless he is being forced to claim he is a believer.

          October 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          'Jesus expires on the cross! He is dead that we may have life. All creation mourns: the sun darkens, the earth trembles, the rocks burst, and the veil of the temple is rent in twain; my heart alone remains harder than a rock!'

          St. Paul of the Cross

          But slowly, under the piercing point of my own sin, I am at last forced to believe.

          October 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • sam stone

          bill, do you consider allowing someone else to take the punishment you feel you deserve to be a moral act?

          October 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      Wow. A quote...thanks for phoning it in, St Paulie's girl

      October 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
      • doobzz

        I'd rather drink a St. Pauli's Girl than read St. Paul. But both are crap.

        October 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • sam stone

          I would rather twist up some purple kush than do either of those

          October 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • mike

      Amen. The testimony of hundreds of millions of people throughout two thousand years

      October 1, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
      • sam stone

        and there are many more who have found faith in other belief systems. how can anyone claim theirs is THE CORRECT one is insande

        October 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
        • sam stone

          insane, too

          October 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
        • mostly

          claim whatever, u idiot. so what?

          October 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
        • mostly

          Derek Murphy says:
          So... just to clarify, you haven't actually read this book, but are pre-judging it based on another book you read? Don't you think that's a little ridiculous? Incidentally, the only evidence you give of your own credibility is that you are "very familiar" with the lives of Jesus, Krishna and Buddha. That's an unverified claim that I have difficulty believing, based on your obvious penchant for sharing your own ill-formed conclusions and prejudices.

          October 4, 2013 at 1:22 am |
      • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

        So what you're saying is throughout the past two thousand years, there have been hundreds of millions of stupid people? That seems about right...

        October 2, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

      "When a Christian reaches for their book to reference a quote... you know they are about to lie their ass off..." ~LET

      October 2, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  10. tony

    well, prepare for all the problems of the world to go away in April. Peace, everyone becomes healthy and propering, love between all.

    I'm so glad the churches and god got together on this. That's what saints do- Right?

    October 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  11. Ben

    One woman prays for John Paul's help with something and they get a result that they're satisfied with.

    What are the odds of something like that happening around a pope popular with about a billion Catholics?

    October 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • tony

      They perceived a result which may have happened regardless.

      October 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • tony

      Good point. A god that only gets results once in every billion needs, as a result of probably some triliion prayers, is a really poor example of an all-powerful god. W

      Which for believers means that there must be a far more capable and effective one over "him".

      October 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • ME II

      Amazingly, miracles happen about as often as random chance would suggest.

      October 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  12. Reality # 2

    Canonization of the likes of Pio and Juan (and now these two popes) eliminates any consideration of papal infallibility

    October 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      What does infallibility have to do with beatification?

      October 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • doobzz

        Disingenuous Boof, fishing for a way to look intelligent.

        October 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I don't think I would ever aspire to appear intelligent to you.

          October 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • doobzz

          It's good to be realistic, Boof. Set your sights on something more achievable.

          October 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG


          October 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
      • OKfine

        Until you admitted to making a mistake in the post below I thought you BD were infallible. Well neither am I, but lets leave it at that, could not bear to get into some sort of bonding.

        October 1, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          You misunderstand. I'm not inviting you to be my friend. I'm suggesting you and doobz have some things in common.

          October 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • fizzbiscuit

          Catholicism is the ultimate Christian vampire sect. Run away from it fast.

          October 1, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

        "Theologians generally agree as to the fact of papal infallibility in this matter of canonization, but disagree as to the quality of cert-itude due to a papal decree in such matter. In the opinion of some it is of faith (Arriaga, De fide, disp. 9, p. 5, no 27); others hold that to refuse as-sent to such a judgment of the Holy See would be both impious and rash, as Francisco Suárez (De fide, disp. 5 p. 8, no 8); many more (and this is the general view) hold such a pronouncement to be theologically certain, not being of Divine Faith as its purport has not been immediately revealed, nor of ecclesiastical Faith as having thus far not been defined by the Church.

        What is the object of this infallible judgment of the pope? Does he define that the person canonized is in heaven or only that he has practiced Christian virtues in an heroic degree? I have never seen this question discussed; my own opinion is that nothing else is defined than that the person canonized is in heaven. The formula used in the act of canonization has nothing more than this:

        "In honour of . . . we decree and define that Blessed N. is a Saint, and we inscribe his name in the catalogue of saints, and order that his memory by devoutly and piously celebrated yearly on the . . . day of . . . his feast."

        October 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Read your own sentence:

          many more (and this is the general view) hold such a pronouncement to be theologically certain, not being of Divine Faith as its purport has not been immediately revealed, nor of ecclesiastical Faith as having thus far not been defined by the Church.

          In other words not a morally dogmatic statement issued ex cathedra.

          October 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Continuing on to the next paragraph from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
          (not my sentence)

          "What is the object of this infallible judgment of the pope? Does he define that the person canonized is in heaven or only that he has practiced Christian virtues in an heroic degree? I have never seen this question discussed; my own opinion is that nothing else is defined than that the person canonized is in heaven. The formula used in the act of canonization has nothing more than this:

          "In honour of . . . we decree and define that Blessed N. is a Saint, and we inscribe his name in the catalogue of saints, and order that his memory by devoutly and piously celebrated yearly on the . . . day of . . . his feast."

          October 1, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  13. Bill Deacon

    Let Your God Love You
    Be silent.
    Be still.
    Before your God.
    Say nothing.
    Ask nothing.
    Be silent.
    Be still.
    Let your God look upon you.
    That is all.
    God knows.
    God understands.
    God loves you
    With an enormous love,
    And only wants
    To look upon you
    With that love.

    Let your God
    Love you.

    October 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • doobzz

      "The Altar Boy's Prayer" by Boof Deacon

      October 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        My mistake, this is the prayer of the Sojourner Companions. A contemplative mission. I learned this prayer from a woman actually.

        October 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • doobzz

          What???? You learned something from a woman? Aren't you afraid of the cooties?

          October 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • OKfine

          The poor frightened girl probably could not make out what the h&ll you were about BD.

          October 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          You guys seem like minded. Why not make yourselves friends?

          'A great help to advancement in spiritual life is to have a friend whom you will permit to inform you of your faults.'

          St. Ignatius of Loyola

          October 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • OKfine

          By coming on this site daily you expose yourself to many pointing out your faults but as you said before "whoosh, right over your head." So many saints to quote, so many sinners.

          October 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Ben

      He loves you while all the time telling you that you're faulty and not worthy of his love? It's not his fault that you don't obey everything he tells you to do, and you end up getting hurt?

      Sounds like the same excuses that abusive husbands tell their battered wives.

      October 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Not sure where you get this but I think either your theology is flawed or your understanding of Catholic theology is mistaken.

        October 1, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Bill, which of Ben's points are wrong?

          October 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Two points primarily. The first being that "you are not worthy of his love" and the second that "you end up getting hurt."

          I'm pretty sure the catechism says God finds us intrinsically worthy of his love and that our end is not to be hurt but to abide in peace.

          October 2, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • sam stone

          the way to find peace is to ignore all the "salvation" garbage that christianity throws at you

          October 2, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          'Brothers, do not be surprised and do not be afraid. Unwittingly you have pursued falsehood thinking it to be the truth. If you had been taught the truth first you would have been found effortlessly tending toward salvation, just as you now effortlessly lean toward perdition.'

          St. Norbert, to the people of Antwerp

          October 2, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • sam stone

          Wow, bill, very convincing

          thanks for the quote

          October 2, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • tallulah13

          Of course, the only thing that the promised 'salvation' saves you from is rational thinking and the realization that there is no supernatural father to protect you when you are afraid.

          I can't understand the christian desire to be treated like a child. I'm a grown-up. I am ultimately responsible for my own actions. I don't need supernatural threats and rewards to treat others as I would be treated. I certainly don't need a human intercessor between myself and my conscience, especially one that pretends to speak for "god".

          October 2, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          'Do not compare yourself with weaker men but rather apply yourself to fulfilling the commandment of love. For by comparing yourself with the weak you will fall into the pit of conceit, but by applying yourself to the commandment of love you will reach the height of humility.

          St. Maximos the Confessor

          October 2, 2013 at 11:47 am |
        • sam stone

          tallulah: they talk about god as if he were a loving father, but the picture they describe is of a petty, vindictive pr1ck. gopher is famous for that. but then, he is a coward

          October 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • niknak

          I think Catholic Mythology is more appropriate, Billy Bob Deacan Blues.
          Those inane quotes from past religious scammers are meaningless.

          Why do you still need a security blanket to get thru life?

          October 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
        • doobzz

          Another quote. Wow. Good job, Boof.

          October 2, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • Snuggie

          "Why do you still need a security blanket to get thru life?"

          I can understand that some people just do need one. The problem is when they try to smother everyone else with the danged drool-soaked thing.

          October 2, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          To be fair sam, can you admit that the picture you sometimes see is not the one that is painted?

          October 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • sam stone

          bill: i am open to that possibility, are you?

          October 3, 2013 at 4:20 am |
        • tallulah13

          Bill, I find it quite telling that you use the quotes of others rather than speak for yourself.

          October 3, 2013 at 9:24 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          It should tell you that I'm willing to research the archives of great thinkers who present valid insight into territory you haven't explored

          October 3, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  14. tony

    What terrific news! Now as saints theywill immediately be able to transform the World and bring peace happiness, health and prosperity to all.

    I can't wait for April!

    October 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  15. Andrew

    Saint John Paul, pray for us!

    October 1, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • doobzz

      Why? He's dead, you know.

      October 1, 2013 at 12:53 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.