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Miracle Paves Way for Sainthood

Floribeth Mora shows the magazine with an image of John Paul II, through whom she received a miraculous healing. (CNS photo/Juan Carlos Ulate, Reuters)

A second miracle for the cause of Blessed John Paul II was approved by the Vatican in June 2013, paving the way for his canonization. The canonization on April 27, 2014, coincided with Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast promoted by John Paul II himself after the revelations of St. Faustina Kowalska, one of the many saints the pope canonized. Pope John XXIII was also canonized by Pope Francis on the same day.

The miracle for canonization involved a Costa Rican woman, Floribeth Mora, who was suffering from a potentially fatal aneurysm. Mora said that she received an inexplicable healing after she invoked John Paul II’s intercession. According to Mora, she was watching a broadcast of the 2011 beatification ceremony for John Paul II and contemplating the pope’s image on a magazine when she heard a voice telling her not to be afraid and to get up. She recalled that shortly after, she felt better and renewed in spirit. When doctors later examined her, they could not offer an explanation for her healing.

A previous miracle approved by the Vatican occurred in 2005 when a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, invoked Pope John Paul II’s intercession and was healed of Parkinson’s disease, an affliction that also affected the pontiff. The unexplained healing allowed for the pope’s beatification, which took place on May1, 2011, also the feast of the Divine Mercy.

For the Knights of Columbus, the canonization of Pope John Paul II is a significant event.

“This will be an occasion of joy for the Knights of Columbus, since no pope has been closer to the Order,” wrote the Supreme Knight Carl Anderson in his column for the March 2014 issue of Columbia magazine. “During John Paul II’s pontificate, which lasted more than 26 years, we had the privilege of working with him on many important projects, including the restoration of the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica.” For more on the Supreme Knight’s column, visit kofc.org/columbia.

To mark the occasion of the canonization, the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, held a series of programs and events.

The shrine was established by the Knights of Columbus at the site of the former Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, which the Order purchased in August 2011. On March 19, 2014, the shrine was designated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as a national shrine. On April 27, 2014, canonization day, it was officially renamed Saint John Paul II National Shrine.

“John Paul II was a champion of the rights and dignity of every human person, and his witness and legacy continue to speak important messages to our world today,” the shrine’s executive director, Patrick Kelly, said. “Similarly, his life of holiness and devotion to God continue to be an example to us all.”

For more information on the events at the shrine, visit www.jp2shrine.org.