Vatican: John Paul II, John XXIII to become saints
(2nd UPDATE) In a rare move, the Pope dispenses with the need for a second miracle to declare John XXIII a saint

SAINTS SOON. John Paul II (right) and his predecessor, John XXIII (left), will soon become saints of the Catholic Church.

VATICAN CITY (2nd UPDATE) – Late popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be made saints of the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican said on Friday, July 5, in a widely-awaited announcement, without specifying when the canonizations will occur.

“The Supreme Pontiff approved… the canonization of Blessed John XXIII… and decided to call a consistory also concerning the canonization of Blessed John Paul II,” it said in a statement.

Pope Francis met with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and gave his formal approval to a second miracle attributed to John Paul II (1978-2005) – a condition for becoming a saint.

John XXIII (1958-1963), who is known as “Good Pope John” for his kindly demeanor which many have likened to Francis, only has one miracle to his name but the Pope still approved the canonization anyway in a rare move.

The Vatican said the canonizations could occur before the end of the year but that the precise date would be decided by the consistory, a meeting of cardinals.

It announced this during the Year of Faith, a period to commemorate the Second Vatican Council, which John XXIII convened.

The Catholic Church endorses saints as intercessors and models of holiness. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/