Vatican confirms John Paul II's sainthood sealed by miracle that will 'amaze the world'
The Vatican has secretly attributed a mystery miracle to the late John Paul II, clearing the way for him to be declared a saint.
The Holy See has yet to reveal what the miracle was or where and when it took place, but Vatican sources said it would "amaze the world".
It concerns the "extraordinary healing" of a Costa Rican woman who was cured of a severe brain injury after her family began praying to the memory of the late Polish pope, according to reports in the Italian media.
Details of the miracle are likely to be announced at the end of this month or at the beginning of July, said a Vatican insider.
John Paul II was beatified – the first step towards sainthood – in a lavish outdoor ceremony in St Peter's Square in May 2011.
The second miracle – which is required in order for him to be given full sainthood – reportedly occurred on the very day of his beatification.
However, it has also reportedly been recognised by theologians from the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which is in charge of examining the "dossiers" of candidates for sainthoods.
It now has to be signed off by a commission of cardinals and bishops, which is expected to happen within the next few weeks.
John Paul's first attributed miracle was the apparent healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre. Her recovery from Parkinson's disease after praying for the late pope's "intercession" had no medical explanation, the Church maintains.
It is understood that the Polish pontiff is likely to be formally made a saint in the autumn – either on October 20 or November 24.
The canonisation ceremony is likely to be attended by hundreds of thousands of Catholic faithful and will be presided over by Pope Francis, who was elected in March.
"The canonisation of Karol Wojtyla will be the crowning glory of the recent history of Catholicism, linking the last three pontificates," Saverio Gaeta, who wrote a biography of John Paul II, told 'La Stampa' newspaper. (© Daily Telegraph, London)