One of the most eye-catching statistics from the pontificate of John Paul II is the number of people he canonized and beatified, in all, more than 1800.
It's no coincidence that the most recognizable names lived in the 20th Century. John Paul II wanted to show that it's not impossible to achieve holiness in modern times.
JOHN PAUL II
"Holiness is to lift your eyes towards the mountains, it's intimacy with the Father, who is in Heaven. Humans live within this intimacy, knowing its path, which has its limits and challenges.”
The canonization of Father Pio in St. Peter's Square drew the largest crowds of his pontificate, along with the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
The long list of saints and blesseds includes several polish figures, like Maximilian Kolbe and Faustina Kowalska.
Another notable name is Edith Stein, a philosopher who converted from Judaism.
With the canonization of Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei, the Pope renewed focus on the role lay people play within the Church.
As the "traveling Pope,” it's no surprise that John Paul II also canonized saints from every continent.
They included Juan Diego, the indigenous man from Mexico to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to.
Others include Josefina Bakhita, a Sudanese slave who became a nun; or Andrew Kim Taegon, the first Catholic priest in Korea, canonized alongside 102 other martyrs.
The saints canonized by John Paul II span all charisms and backgrounds, one of the greatest legacies of his pontificate. Less than ten years after his death, he will soon join their ranks.