April, 28, 2011. (Romereports.com).
With every beatification, the Catholic Church promotes models of
life. The next step is the canonization, where the Pope declares by 'ex
cathedra' that the person in question is in Heaven.
Going through these two steps isn't easy. The Vatican takes on a very meticulous process to approve this. First, a public outburst is needed, but that's just one of several steps. Silvia Correale
"It's that sense from the people of God, who believe a person was a saint. Today, we would refer to it as public opinion. That common sense of everyday people is a sign. The number of spiritual graces are also taken into account. "
The next step is a complete investigation of the life of the candidate. A file known as “positio” is collected for review. Special attention is given to whether the candidate followed Christian virtues to a heroic degree. Card. JosÚ Saraiva Martins
Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
"These documents are reviewed by experts in history, by theologians and cardinals. Afterward, all the documents are sent to the Pope, who then approves the heroic virtues. The case of John Paul was approved by the pope on December 19, 2009.”
The hardest thing is to prove a miracle through the intercession of the candidate to the altars. It's a sign that Heaven agrees. They're often cases of healings. They must be scientifically inexplicable as well as immediate and lasting.
The report of each alleged miracle is investigated by a group of independent doctors who aren't connected to the Vatican. They too, must verify that it's inexplicable to science. Card. JosÚ Saraiva Martins
Prefect of the Congregation for Causes of Saints
"If the doctors say there is no scientific explanation in the light of modern medicine, the healing goes to the theologians, so they can see if there's a relationship between the alleged miraculous healing and intercession of the candidate to the altars."
In the case of John Paul II, the miracle was the healing of the French nun Marie-Simon Pierre, who suffered from Parkinson's.
For canonization, Pope John Paul II will have to make another miracle. Even if it happens soon, at least three or four years must pass to demonstrate that healing is permanent and complete.