Lifestyle & Belief

Vatican attributes second miracle to Pope John Paul II, clearing the way for sainthood

The Vatican has attributed a second miracle to the late Pope John Paul II, clearing the way for him to be declared a saint.

Unnamed Vatican sources told the Telegraph that the new miracle would "amaze the world," though the Holy See has yet to disclose what the miracle was or where and when it took place.

Reports in the Italian media say the miracle involved the "extraordinary healing" of a Costa Rican woman, who was cured of a severe brain injury after her family had prayed to the late Polish pope.

If John Paul were to become a saint this autumn, as rumored, it would be the fastest canonization in history — coming only eight years after his death.

The modern-era record is 27 years, set by Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, who died in 1975. 

The Telegraph cited a Vatican insider as saying that details of the miracle were likely to be announced at the end of this month or at the beginning of July.

The second miracle reportedly took place on May 1, 2011, the same day John Paul II was beatified in a lavish ceremony in St Peter's Square.

The first miracle — necessary for beatification, the first step towards sainthood — came just six months after his death in 2005, was the healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, of Parkinson's disease.

For healings to be officially certified as miracles, they must be instantaneous, permanent and with no scientific explanation.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi would not confirm or deny the report of a second miracle.

However, it must be declared by the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in charge of examining the "dossiers" of candidates for sainthoods.

It must then be signed off by a commission of cardinals and bishops, which could happen by October.

At the 2005 funeral of John Paul II, a hugely popular, crowds of mourners cried "Santo Subito!" — which roughly translates as "Sainthood Now!"