updated 07/05/2013 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 07/05/2013 AT 8:35 AM ET
Pope Francis on Friday cleared Pope John Paul II for sainthood, approving a miracle attributed to his intercession and setting up a remarkable dual canonization along with another beloved pope, John XXIII.
In a major demonstration of his papal authority, Francis decided to make John XXIII a saint even though the Vatican hasn’t confirmed a second miracle attributed to his intercession. The Vatican said Francis had the power to “dispense” with the normal saint-making procedures to canonize him on his own merit, without a miracle.
The ceremonies are expected before the end of the year. The date of Dec. 8 has been floated as one possibility, given it’s the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a major feast day for the church. Polish media continued to report that October was likely, to mark the anniversary of John Paul’s election, but Vatican officials have said that’s too soon to organize such a massive event.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed that the miracle that brought John Paul to the ranks of sainthood concerned a Costa Rican woman.
The Spanish Catholic newspaper La Razon has identified her as Floribeth Mora, and said she suffered from a cerebral aneurism that was inexplicably cured on May 1, 2011 the day of John Paul’s beatification, when 1.5 million people filled St. Peter’s Square to honor the beloved Polish pontiff.
In a series of reports late last month, La Razon reported that Mora awoke with debilitating head pain on April 8 and went to the hospital, where her condition worsened to the point that she was sent home with only a month to live.
Her family prayed to John Paul, and the aneurism disappeared.