SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (ABC 4 UTAH) – Big news from Vatican. The Roman Catholic Church declared the late Pope John Paul II will become a saint. Pope Francis signed the decree early Friday morning.
Following Friday morning mass at the Cathedral of Madeleine, Father Christopher Gray learned about the Roman Catholic Church's decision to declare the former St. John Paul the II a saint. News, father Gray says comes as no surprise. "Blessed John Paul has been exactly what Pope John Paul has always been and Pope Saint John Paul will always be a source of inspiration for the church," says Father Gray.
John Paul was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005. Six months after his death the blessed John Paul's first approved miracle for sainthood was the healing of a French nun from Parkinsons disease. The second miracle happened the night of John Paul’s beatification ceremony with the unexplainable curing of a woman from Costa Rica. Father Gray says “Having already received one miracle for the beatification and now another miracle for the canonization it is complete.”
Father Gray tells ABC 4 Utah the decision for Pope John Paul to become a saint is significant because many knew him personally. “He met many, thousands, millions he affected. This is someone we can look back in our own lives and remember he is someone that we knew, he was someone that we have an example of," says Father Gray.
One of those people personally affect by his presence was Alex Garcia who met the former pope 20 years ago in Mexico and describes the experience as more than spiritual.
“It was amazing because he was a really, really, really a good person. Not just a pope, more than a catholic, more than a religious leader he was more than that.”
No dates for the canonization ceremony have been given, but father Gray says it will be done before the end of the year and he predicts it will be take place in October.