2nd miracle for Bl. John Paul II?

All Popes kiss babies!

Andrea Tornielli reports at Vatican Insider:

The Vatican doctors approve the miracle to make Wojtyla a saint

“A saint now!” The canonisation of Wojtyla is getting closer quickly and it could be celebrated next October. In fact, in the past few days, the medical council of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has recognized as inexplicable one healing attributed to the blessed John Paul II. A supposed “miracle” that, if it is also approved by theologians and the cardinals (as it is very likely), will bring the Polish Pope, who died in 2005, the halo of sainthood in record time, just eight years after his death.

It all happened in great secrecy, with maximum confidentiality. In January, the postulator of the cause, Mgr. Slawomir Oder, submitted a presumed miraculous healing to the Vatican Congregation for the Saints for a preliminary opinion. As it is known, after the approval of a miracle for the proclamation of a blessed, the canonical procedures include the recognition of a second miracle that must have occurred after the beatification ceremony.

Two doctors of the Vatican council had previously examined this new case, and both gave a favourable opinion. The dossier with the medical records and the testimonies was then officially presented to the Congregation, which immediately included the examination in its agenda. In the past few days it was discussed by a committee of seven doctors, the council (presided over by Dr. Patrick Polisca, Pope John Paul II’s cardiologist), Pope Benedict XVI’s personal physicians and now Pope Francis’s. The medical council also gave a favourable opinion, the first official go-ahead by the Vatican, by defining as inexplicable the healing attributed to the intercession of the blessed Karol Wojtyla.


Read the rest there.

Keep in mind that in the long process of coming to a reasonable surety that a miracle was worked by God through the intercession of the Blessed or Venerable in question, when it is a matter of a healing miracle, there is a board of medical doctors and experts that look at the evidence to try to determine a) what were the conditions, b) what actually happened and c) whether it is explicable in terms of the normal workings of nature and medicine.

So, the approval of the “consulta medica” is a big step, but not the last step.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Saints: Stories & Symbols and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Hank Igitur says:

    Why the big hurry?

  2. Geoffrey says:

    Deo gratias! Beate Ioannes Paule Magne, ora pro nobis! Ora pro Ecclesia!

    This is not in a “hurry” at all when compared to St Francis of Assisi, who was proclaimed a saint 2 years after his death. St Anthony of Padua was proclaimed a saint 1 year after his death. I am sure there are others…

  3. Gentillylace says:

    I have read the article from Vatican Insider twice and I am still unsure as to the nature of the healing attributed to Bl. John Paul II after the beatification ceremony. I have read that the miracle that insured his beatification was the cure of a religious from Parkinson’s disease, but what is the healing this time? Or has that not yet been made public?

  4. The Church knows better than me, I would say there is still a piece of the cult of personality to judge from an objective point of view the Pontificate of Bl JP II…but again the mind of the Church over my own personal opinion….Deo Gratias!

  5. Inigo says:

    Remember: it’s not the papacy that is being canonized, but the person.

  6. Jack Regan says:

    The rumour (rumor, if you’re american!) in the youth ministry community at present is that the next World Youth Day will be in Krakow and that JPII will be canonised (canonized!!) then.

    The first part of that (WYD Krakow in 2015) is almost certainly correct, but I suspect the second part is perhaps less certain, if not absolute wishful thinking.

    Would be nice though :)

  7. Supertradmum says:

    I have often wondered why medical miracles seem to be the only ones counted. There are many other types of intercessions for which we pray. I think that mental illnesses and also fallen away Catholics need miracles and those would be just as good, if not more important than medical ones. Personally, I pray much more for those in depression or those lapsed Catholics who may not die in grace than for the sick.

    As to Bl John Paul II’s canonization, I find the speed disconcerting when other people who are holy and “older” cases have not been put forward so fast-Fulton J. Sheen, the Martins, Mother Teresa and many others.

  8. Maltese says:

    Some Saints who become proclaimed, become unproclaimed!

  9. frjim4321 says:

    Personally I believe that the Maciel debacle would be disqualifying, but I am most likely in the minority here on that topic.

    I read that the obstacles that had been placed to the cause of the martyr Archbishop Romero have finally been lifted, and I find that encouraging.

  10. Lori Pieper says:

    Father, I just wanted to say that — beyond being happy that JPII is that much closer to canonization — I think your photo caption is hilarious!

    Yes, Pope Francis evidently gave Romero’s cause the nudge.

  11. Scarltherr says:

    Supertradmom: I am with you in your comment on other miracles. We received a Papal Blessing on our marriage from JPII via my brother, (who asked then Cardinal Ratzinger if he could help to procure it ) and I believe it is through the intercession if JPII that our marriage is as strong as it is.

    Also, yes Father, I love the “All Popes kiss babies” caption. They kiss them because they smell so good (when clean) and are so soft and wonderful, it is a touch of heaven. Since we live in a world that tells us babies are punishments and burdens, it is nice to be reminded that they are lovely and kissable. Maybe when we are resurrected in our bodies, they will be as soft and beautiful as baby bodies.

  12. mamajen says:

    If he meets the requirements, he deserves canonization. Simple. God’s timing is not our timing.

  13. capchoirgirl says:

    Suptertrad and scar. (yeah I’m abbreviating :) ): Probably because medical miracles are the easiest to verify. Someone was going to die–they lived. Someone had cancer–it’s gone. There’s verifiable medical evidence that something was seriously wrong, and now it’s right.
    Mamajen: Completely agree.

  14. Supertradmum says:

    capchoirgirl, too bad, as I considered an atheist converted, or a lapsed Catholic of 40 years not practicing converted as the greatest miracles of all. A woman in our TLM parish died suddenly two years ago of a brain hemorrhage. She was 52 or so. Her husband, who refused to come into the Church for the 25 plus years of their marriage made his first Confession the day before her funeral and his First Communion and Confirmation at her funeral Mass. That to me was a great miracle indicating her intercession and holiness. How happy we all were!

  15. I am in no doubt as to Blessed John Paul’s status within the communion of saints. I have always felt myself to be a spiritual child of his, and believe I would not be where I am today if it was not for his intercession. Just seeing his visage at the top of this blog entry and reading his name in the title makes me happy. I look forward to the day we can speak with shared certainty of his sanctity.

  16. Darren says:

    If someone IS a saint, then there is nothing to disqualify the fact. Some debacle should not stand in the way. If we soon have a canonized Saint John Paul II then there can be no harm, but only good from it.

    Now, if only the debacles standing the way of Pope Pius XII would finally clear! We have perhaps one of the holiest men to be pope just recently declared venerable. I pray to see his canonization in my lifetime!

    But, as far as speed goes… why some are canonized more quickly while others have to wait so long… as mamajen said, “God’s timing is not our timing.” St. Juan Diego had to wait about 500 years! Anyone who our Lady appeared to and spoke to must have been extremely holy! St. Claude de la Colombiere had to wait around 300 years, and he was a most holy priest…the first to take the message of the Sacred Heart Devotion as revealed to St. Margaret Mary on the road and begin to spread it.

  17. robtbrown says:

    Supertradmum, ‘

    Medical miracles are the norm because it can be clearly established that they are not of natural origin and follow upon prayers of intercession–all but impossible with depression or conversion.

    Miracles are mainly of two kinds:

    1. quoad substantiam–phenomena which of itself miraculous, e.g., seeing with pupils in the eyes.

    2. quoad modum–the phenomena of itself is normal, but it happens in a miraculous mode, e.g., malignant tumor disappearing overnight.

  18. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Well, there was the “No freakin’ way any human could close that freakin’ submarine door without freakin’ divine intervention” South American Navy miracle. It was verifiable because human strength and water pressure at a given depth are both quantifiable, so all they had to do was call in the physicists.

    But yeah, generally it’s a lot easier to verify medical miracles.

  19. Supertradmum says:

    robtbrown, thanks. I just wish those miracles of conversion and mental health cures could be authenticated.

  20. robtbrown says:

    Should be: seeing without pupils in the eyes

  21. robtbrown says:

    If I might amplify this a bit:

    A miracle happens when God produces an effect without the natural cause.

  22. Athelstan says:

    I have absolutely no information on the details of this miracle, so I can’t judge it. But I can’t help but feel that this whole process, beatification and canonization, has proceeded with an unseemly haste.

    Even St. Pius X required 40 years to be canonized. And not just because three miracles were required in those days.

  23. Geoffrey says:

    “Personally I believe that the Maciel debacle would be disqualifying, but I am most likely in the minority here on that topic…”

    Maciel was a great deceiver, and I think Benedict XVI used the term “false prophet” when describing him in the book-length interview “Light of the World”.

    One has to consider Blessed John Paul II’s personal background: He came from a country ruled by Communism, where it was the norm to accuse political enemies (including priests) of improprieties, etc. I recall hearing that it had recently been discovered that the communists had been preparing a “diary” that was going to contain “evidence” in order to harm Card. Wojtyla’s reputation while he was Archbishop of Krakow.

    Because these were the tactics of the communists, Blessed JPII was very slow to believe such stories when it came to priests, etc. I am not saying that is good or bad, but it does put things into context.

  24. robtbrown says:


    My understanding is that the revision of process, which permits the quicker creation of new Blessed and Saints, is intended so that they’ll mean more to people than someone who died 400 years ago.

  25. Athelstan says:


    I do get that, but the danger with some of the changes is that they risk bringing into doubt the legitimacy and rigor of the canonization process. In particular, I am critical of the decision in Divinus Perfectionis Magister to eliminate the office of Promoter of the Faith, and the elimination of of one of the required miracles required for beatification and canonization.

  26. robtbrown says:


    The canonization process is nothing else than a recommendation for the pope. He decides whether to beatify/canonize someone. For example, Fra Angelico is now officially blessed, even though he lacked certain requisites of the process.

  27. Athelstan says:


    All true, but does anyone doubt for even a minute that Pope Francis will hesitate to accept the recommendation of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints regarding Pope John Paul II?

  28. Athelstan says:

    Because these were the tactics of the communists, Blessed JPII was very slow to believe such stories when it came to priests, etc. I am not saying that is good or bad, but it does put things into context.

    Having some familiarity with Poland, especially as it existed under communism, I think this is a helpful distinction that makes sense of John Paul II’s attitude toward accusations of sexual abuse. This was a very common tactic by the communists to undermine the Church. His skepticism was a natural result of that experience.

    It may not excuse some of what he did (or did not do), but it does help to explain it.

  29. MichaelJ says:

    I understand your point that “they’ll mean more to people than someone who died 400 years ago.”, but isn’t that in itself at least a tacit acceptance of the rot that arises from modernism? Should we really so cavalierly accept that Sints who died 400 years ago have no relevance or meaning to modern, enlightened man?

  30. frjim4321 says:

    I would not favor a JPII canonization for reasons already stated however I would submit the following:

    (1) I was under the impression that martyrs did not have the same miracle requirement as others.

    (2) Is there not an agreement among some that JPII was a so-called “white martyr” because of the way he dealt with his lingering illness for the final several years of papacy?

    Thus all things being equal, I think if (and I so mean IF) JPII was qualified for sainthood, I agree with the previous poster that the miracle should not really be such a bit deal.

  31. frjim4321 says:

    s0 = do

    bit = big

    obviously … trying to type with my distance contact lenses

  32. Johnno says:

    Supertradmum –

    The reason emphasis is placed on medical miracles is because such a thing is more verifiable of the supernatural than conversions.

    As for JPII’s canonization legitimacy, only one thing matters. Whether he’s in Heaven & whether he is interceding for us in a powerful way and we can verify this. I’m sure if we dig into the past lives of all the saints we could find some uncharitable examples. But to refuse to recognize a holy saint is like refusing the help of someone trying to pull you out of quicksand just because you had an argument with them earlier. It’s idiotic. Certainly we want good examples of men & women to recognize as saints with as clean a slate as possible, but nobody’s perfect. If that’s what you want, you might as well disqualify St. Peter for his cowardice, anger, lack of understanding, lack of leadership, erroroneous behavior etc.

  33. Tim Ferguson says:

    Fr. Jim, I would say that the Maciel debacle should be as much a hindrance to the canonization as the denial of the Immaculate Conception was to Thomas Aquinas’. In both cases, there was poor judgment, but not a lack of sanctity.

  34. paulbailes says:

    Mamajen’s “he deserves canonization” seems to typify the mistaken mindset of JP-II’s followers.

    In reality, JP-II has already been judged and gone to his punishment, purification or reward. He is beyond caring what we think of him (as “saint” or not), and rather now knows what God thinks of him, for eternity.

    The point of canonisation is not to send someone to heaven (God has already done that, or the alternative as merited), but rather to set someone up as an example for us. The question remains of whether JP-II set us a good example in his life, as pope etc. As well as praying for the repose of his soul, I should be praying that no future pope follows his example.

  35. robtbrown says:

    Tim Ferguson says:

    Fr. Jim, I would say that the Maciel debacle should be as much a hindrance to the canonization as the denial of the Immaculate Conception was to Thomas Aquinas’. In both cases, there was poor judgment, but not a lack of sanctity.

    St Thomas was canonized over 500 years before the dogma of the IC was proclaimed.

    And there was not poor judgment on his part. Although there is a long theological tradition that the BVM was sanctified in the womb, there is no theological tradition in favor of the Immaculate Conception.

  36. frjim4321 says:

    Well Tim, what does it say to victims of clerical sexual abuse?

  37. frjim4321 says:

    “You don’t matter.”

  38. frjim4321 says:

    PS: I am one so that might explain a bit.

  39. robtbrown says:

    Johnno says:

    As for JPII’s canonization legitimacy, only one thing matters. Whether he’s in Heaven & whether he is interceding for us in a powerful way and we can verify this.

    The decree on Heroic Virtues precedes beatification.

  40. Geoffrey says:

    “As well as praying for the repose of his soul…”

    Does the historical fact of his beatification almost 2 years ago not make this superfluous?

  41. paulbailes says:

    Dear Geoffrey

    I think you will find that beatification means that it’s belief-worthy that the beatified is in heaven, not guaranteed.

    In charity I will keep on praying for repose of JP-II’s soul.


  42. mamajen says:


    Uh…okay. I am not what I would consider a “JPII follower”. In fact, for better or worse, I could barely have cared less about the papacy during his reign. You suggest a lot of ignorance on my part that is not in my comment at all. Sainthood is mostly for the benefit of the people left here on earth, but it is also an honor that can be deserved.

    Kudos to Fr. Jim for at least being unambiguous about his feelings regarding JPII and sainthood, while others tiptoe around the fact that it makes them feel threatened.

  43. Johnno says:


    “Well Tim, what does it say to victims of clerical sexual abuse?”

    It might tell them that perhaps there is another Saint in Heaven that they can appeal to who would surely take pains to make up for his human failures while on Earth?

    It reminds them that even they themselves, despite their own personal failures can also become holy and go to Heaven because God forgives and takes into account our failings? That there is more to salvation than simply tit for tat?

    With all due consideration, victims who blame John Paul II for these crimes might as well also blame the police and courts for taking too long, the parents of the molestor for not raising him right, their own parents for not aiding them etc. This game won’t end, and it doesn’t help them.

    That said, I’m not one in favor of rushing to canonize John Paul II or anyone else, and perhaps such a thing might be better served further down the road than in the present climate, and certainly there are questionable thigns John Paul II has done, but honestly considering the age we live in, would the majority of saints we currently have also be disqualified if we knew more about them in a media age?

  44. Heather says:

    We are being told that JPII canonization is being based, not on his pontificate, but on his personal sanctity. A tacit admission that his pontificate contains a great many things that would and should disqualify him from consideration. Imagine a pope being considered for the glory of the altars and we aren’t to consider how he fulfilled his duties of state! Incredible!

    I pray that God spare us from this disaster.

  45. Phil_NL says:


    One name: Saint Celestine V.

    Saint Celestine V was unanimously seen as a failure as a pope – he even abdicated because he shared that opinion, then an even more unheard of thing to do than now. Yet he is counted among the saints, as infallably taught by the Church.

    How a pope fulfilled his office is a separate question of his sanctity, as the above case clearly established. And while Blessed JPII has made his share of mistakes, his long pontificate is absolutely not unanimously seen as a failure. Quite the contrary. Time will tell if the moniker ‘the great’ will stick, but even its consideration speaks volumes.

  46. MichaelJ says:

    Phil_NL , I agree that consideration of “the great” speaks volumes, but suspect that we’ll not agree about what it is actually saying.

    That being said, I’m curious about “infallably taught by the Church”. I know that I am likely in the minority( as even St. Thomas believed this, as I recall) but I’ve not yet been able to completely agree with it. The two main difficulties I have are:
    1. How is declaring the final state of a particular individual’s soul not considered to be a new revelation?
    2. How does my Salvation depend upon belief that a particular individual is in heaven?

    Any thoughts?

  47. Phil_NL says:

    MichaelJ, I’m no theologian, but http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02364b.htm is a nice starting place.

Comments are closed.