15 Jan 2011

Pope John Paul II to be beatified

2:47 pm on 15 January 2011

The Vatican has announced that Pope John Paul II is to be beatified.


Beatification is the final step before sainthood, and means a miracle has been attributed to the late pontiff.

Church officials say the miracle in this case happened when a 48-year-old French nun inexplicably recovered from Parkinson's disease after praying to Pope John Paul following his death in 2005.

Church-appointed doctors agreed that there was no medical explanation for the curing of the nun, although last year there were some doubts about the validity of the miracle, the BBC reports.

The broadcaster says that in order for John Paul II to be canonised as a saint, a second miracle would have to be verified following the beatification.

Up to a million people are expected to gather in Rome for the beatification on 1 May.