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It's Official: Pope John Paul II Is Cleared For Sainthood

  • World
  • 07.05.13 06:50 PM EDT

Pope John Paul II is cleared to become a saint with the approval of a second miracle by Pope Francis only eight years after his death. The fastest canonization recorded took 27 years. Now that he's being canonized, the question is: what does it take to become a saint? 

Step 1a: God Chooses

Though the Catholic Church recognizes the key factors, it is still God who makes saints. The job of the church is to recognize them as such.

Step 1: A Local Bishop Investigates

At the first step, a would-be saint is called a "servant of god" while a bishop conducts research on his doings.

Step 2: Vatican Review

A commission of theologians in the Vatican determine if this was a life of "heroic value." If so, they are deemed "venerable."

Step 3: Beatification

Here's where it can get tricky: non-martyrs have to be credited with a miracle, usually of some sort of spontaneous healing. This has to be an act that medicine cannot refute. Once approved, the saint is then considered "blessed."

Step 4: Canonization & Sainthood

Once a second miracle is approved, the person can be canonized and named a saint. The ceremony to confirm his sainthood is expected by the end of this year.