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Pope John Paul II to be declared saint

Pope John Paul II to be declared saint

SAINTHOOD: A giant poster of late Pope John Paul II is seen in St. Peter's square, at the Vatican, April 28, 2011, days before John Paul's May 1 beatification. A prayer vigil on the Circus Maximus, an all-night prayer session in downtown Rome churches and the beatification Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI top the agenda for the three-day event. Photo: Associated Press/AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope John Paul II, the Polish pontiff who led the Catholic Church for 27 years and witnessed the fall of communism and Pope John XXIII, who called the reforming Second Vatican council, will be declared saints on April 27, Pope Francis announced on Monday.

The announcement of the date for the canonizations had been expected since July when Francis approved a second miracle attributed to John Paul, opening the way to the fastest canonization in modern times.

He also approved sainthood for John, who reigned from 1958 to 1963 and who oversaw sweeping reforms to modernize the Church, even though he has only been credited with one miracle since his death.

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