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John Paul II, John XXIII cleared for sainthood

05 July, 2013 - Pope Francis on Friday cleared the way for Popes John Paul II and John XXIII to be declared saints soon. Pope Francis approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, who led the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005, and who was declared Blessed in 2011 Holy See spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said that Pope John XXIII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963 and called the Second Vatican Council, which enacted sweeping reforms to modernize the Church, would also be declared a saint, though without a miracle. No dates for the canonization ceremonies were immediately available. Two confirmed miracles are usually required under Vatican rules for the declaration of a saint, with the first clearing the way for beatification and the second for canonization. Friday’s approval of the miracle attributed to John Paul II was among 12 decrees authorized by Pope Francis regarding 3 miracles, 4 martyrdoms and 5 heroic virtues. The second miracle attributed to John Paul's intercession is the inexplicable healing of a woman from Costa Rica. In the case of John XXIII, known as the "Good Pope", who was beatified in 2000, Pope Francis waved the customary rules which require a second miracle after beatification, Fr. Lombardi explained. The other two miracles that Pope Francis approved on Friday cleared the way for the beatification of a Spanish bishop and a Spanish nun who died in Italy. Pope Francis also recognized the martyrdom of 42 persons, most of them victims of the Spanish civil war.