8:49am

Fri January 14, 2011
The Two-Way

With Beatification, Pope John Paul II Moves Closer To Sainthood

Pope Benedict XVI today "signed off on the miracle needed for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, and set May 1 as the date to honor one of the most beloved popes of all times as a model of saintliness for the church," the Associated Press writes.

In that story, the AP goes on to report that the pope "said in a decree that a French nun's recovery from Parkinson's disease was miraculous, the last step needed for beatification. A second miracle is needed for the Polish-born John Paul to be made a saint."

Which led us to go in search of more about exactly what beatification is.

The Catholic Education Research Center has a post on "the process of be coming a saint." As it says, beatification follows an initial investigation and means either that the person has been "declared 'blessed' by virtue of martyrdom" or has been "credited with a miracle. ... After beatification, another miracle is needed for canonization and the formal declaration of sainthood."

On the Vatican's website, it's said that beatification is "limited to a Servant of God whose virtues to a heroic degree, or Martyrdom, have been duly recognized."

Vatican Radio has more about the beatification of Pope John Paul II here.

On the nun's recovery, the Catholic Herald says that:

"Sister Marie Simon-Pierre was diagnosed with aggressive Parkinson's in 2001 and had to quit her job at a maternity ward in Arles, Provence. After John Paul's death in 2005, her order began praying for his intercession. According to the testimony, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre woke up with her condition cured after having written John Paul II's name on a piece of paper."

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