Pope John Paul II will become what many Catholics believed he already was. On Friday, the Vatican announced he will be canonized into sainthood.
Beloved the world over, John Paul continues to be our time's most celebrated pontiff. So, it was no surprise when Pope Francis cleared way for the adored pontiff to become a saint.
Lydia Truscello said she has always adored this “great man” and is glad his holiness will finally rise.
“Wonderful!” she said. “We've been waiting for a long time, yes.”
John Paul was pope from 1978 until his death in April 2005. Most midstaters remember his trip to Baltimore in 1995. He built a papacy legacy on being a globetrotter. He was the first pontiff to set foot in Cuba.
Some theologians have said John Paul performed the required two miracles for canonization. He reportedly helped a Costa Rican woman heal from brain surgery, and helped a French nun recover from Parkinson's disease, the same ailment that led to his death at age 84.
Pandian Paul Vibooshanan said confirmed miracles or not, John Paul remains a “holy man.”
“We didn't have any question of his sainthood,” he said.
During John Paul's funeral, people chanted “Santo Subito!” – meaning “Sainthood Now!” – in Saint Peter's Square. While many Catholics have said John Paul's canonization was long overdue, his sainthood would be the fastest in modern history.
“It's awesome,” said Vibooshanan. “It's in place. It's an awesome thing.”
Coincidentally, John Paul holds the record for canonizing the most saints during his papacy with 110. Pope John XXIII will also be canonized at the same time of John Paul. No date has been set yet, but the Associated Press reported early word points to December.
“We're so happy that the Lord rewarded him with his holiness and to be a saint,” said Truscello.