Published Friday, 05 July 2013
A portrait of John Paul II is unveiled to mark his beatification. (© Getty)
The former pope was placed on the fast-track to sainthood by his successor Benedict XVI, when he dispensed with the traditional five-year waiting period and began the beatification process within weeks of his death in April 2005.
And it was in 2011 that the title of 'blessed' was bestowed upon him by current Pope Francis.
Hundreds of thousands of people packed into St Peter's Square in Vatican City for the occasion.
It is Pope Francis who has now finalised the clearance of John Paul II for sainthood, approving a miracle attributed to his intercession.
Vatican spokesman Rev Federico Lombardi has confirmed that the miracle in question relates to a Costa Rican woman.
A Spanish Catholic newspaper La Razon has identified her and reports that she was inexplicably cured in 2011 - on the day of John Paul II's beatification - of a cerebral aneurism.
She had been sent home by doctors and given just a month to live, but the aneurism disappeared.
Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey.
Pope Francis, in Lumen Fidei
Pope Francis has also moved to make another former pope a saint, but without a second miracle attributed to his intercession.
A decision regarding John XXIII has been taken by cardinals and bishops and approved by Pope Francis.
The ceremonies are expected to take place before the end of the year. It is understood that one possible date is 8 December - coinciding with the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The news comes as the first Encyclical - a meditation on faith - by Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei, was published in the Vatican.
The letter - which is unique because it was largely written by the retired Benedict XVI - has been welcomed by Cardinal Seán Brady.
The Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland said: "This letter complements the Encyclical Letters Spe Salvi and Deus Caritas Est of Pope Benedict XVI.
"Lumen Fidei reminds us that faith is not a condition to be taken for granted, but rather a gift from God, to be nurtured and reinforced."
Pope Francis acknowledges in the encyclical that he merely "added a few contributions" of his own to his predecessor's "fine" first draft, which he had left unfinished.
© UTV News