Pope Francis Declares Popes John XXIII and John Paul II Saints

Pope Francis declared Popes John XXIII and John Paul II saints before some 800,000 people on Sunday in an unprecedented ceremony made even more historic by the presence of emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square.

Pope John Paul II Approved for Sainthood

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.

Pope John Paul II on Fast Track to Sainthood

Pope John Paul II has cleared the final obstacle before being made a saint, awaiting just the final approval from Pope Francis and a date for the ceremony that could come as soon as Dec. 8, a Vatican official and news reports said Tuesday.

The ANSA news agency reported that a commission of cardinals and bishops met Tuesday to consider John Paul’s case and signed off on it. A Vatican official confirmed that the decision had been made some time back and that Tuesday’s meeting was essentially a formality.

Pope John Paul II Beatified In Rome

Pope John Paul II is one step closer to sainthood.

Pope Benedict XVI beatified the late Catholic leader on Sunday morning in Rome (the first step in the process of declaring someone a saint). A crowd of 1.5 million gathered in St. Peter’s Square to witness the solemn celebration.

A giant photo of a young John Paul II was revealed as the crowd cried and applauded. “He restored to Christianity its true face as a religion of hope,” said Benedict in his homily.

Pope Benedict: Sainthood for John Paul II

Pope Benedict XVI said Friday that he’s put the wheels in motion for the recently deceased Pope John Paul II to be anointed a saint, overriding the usual five-year waiting period following the death of a possible candidate.

The pontiff made the announcement in Latin during a meeting at the Basilica of St John Lateran with the Roman clergy, who greeted the Pope’s suggestion with a standing ovation, according to reports from the Vatican. “And now I have a very joyous piece of news for you,” Benedict said in Italian before delivering the announcement.

WEEK IN REVIEW: Millions Honor Pontiff

LOVE OUTPOURING: From presidents and prime ministers to prelates and pilgrims, millions filled Rome on Friday for the funeral of Pope John Paul II, as millions more watched on TVs around the world, witnessing what is being called the largest religious gathering of modern times.

Kings, Commoners Gather at Pope's Funeral

As millions of people – from presidents and prime ministers to prelates and pilgrims – filled Rome on Friday for the funeral of Pope John Paul II, millions more watched on televisions around the world, witnessing what is being called the largest religious gathering of modern times.

By any measure, it was an outpouring of love and enthusiasm.

Crowds Gather for Pope's Funeral Friday

Friday s funeral of Pope John Paul II in Vatican City is expected to be the largest gathering of both world powers and faithful members of the Catholic church in modern times.

The funeral is slated to start in St. Peter’s Square at 10 a.m., or 3 a.m. American East Coast time. Many U.S. TV networks will broadcast the three-hour ceremony live, while across Rome, 27 giant monitors will display the event.

President Bush Pays Respects to the Pope

Rome is packed to the max, with authorities on Wednesday having to close down the overflowing lines of mourners wishing to pay last respects to Pope John Paul II. Waits of up to 24 hours are being reported.

Huge Crowds Pay Tribute to Pope

After an initial estimate of 2 million mourners, an unprecedented 4 million pilgrims are now expected to pay their final respects to Pope John Paul II, where the waiting line to view the body of the pontiff has reached 10 hours.

All day Monday and into Tuesday, mourners streamed past his crimson-robed body, as the College of Cardinals met for a second day to prepare for the conclave to elect the Pope’s successor.