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Canonisation of John Paul II, 27 IV 2014

Canonization (Latin: canonizatio) means “declaring someone a saint”, which is an official recognition of the sanctity of the person’s life by the Holy See, an announcement by the Pope that the person is worthy of public worship in the universal Church, and the inclusion of the person in the venerable list of saints. The canonization occurs at the conclusion of a canonization process lasting many years and differs from the beatification in that beatification initiates the official cult of the Blessed person in a local Church, that is, in a particular diocese or a country, and canonization extends the cult to the whole Church. Pope John Paul II, during 51 canonization ceremonies, declared 482 persons to be saints, most of whom were martyrs for the Christian faith. After 9 years since the death of the Polish Pope, John Paul II himself – beatified on 1 May 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI – is included in the canon of saints. This is the fulfilment of the cries of crowds, gathered at St. Peter’s Square in Rome on the day of the Pope’s funeral: “Santo Subito” or “Saint immediately!”. The act of the official canonization confirms the greatness of John Paul II, his steadfastness in confessing and proclaiming the Gospel, as well as huge appreciation and gratitude for the gift of the extraordinary pontificate, which occupies a unique place in the history of the world, the Catholic Church and Poland.

Rev. Prof. Waldemar Chrostowski
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw