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Holiness of John Paul II 'confirmed by canonization'

Cardinal recalls 'deep humanity' of Wojtyla on anniversary

02 April, 15:54
Holiness of John Paul II 'confirmed by canonization' (ANSA) - Vatican City, April 2 - On the ninth anniversary Wednesday of the death of Pope John Paul II, the prelate who announced his passing said his canonization in late April confirms the holiness he exuded in life.

"The emotion was so great," recalls Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. "We, faithful, who believe he was a saint since we knew him, or those who proclaimed him 'santo subito' (saint now) in St Peter's Square, now have the certainty from the authority of the Church," Sandri said in an interview with Vatican radio.

"This man is a saint and is therefore close to God...He already sees (the Lord) and this is guaranteed to us by the Supreme Pontiff of the Church, who is Pope Francis," Sandri said.

He recalled John Paul II's "deep humanity", which may have been formed through the suffering, persecution, and losses he endured during Karol Wojtyla's youth and later, his work as a priest in his native Poland.

"This humanity was crowned by God with the gifts of the Holy Spirit," said Sandri, who nine years ago was working in the office of the Vatican's secretary of state.

Pope Francis will canonize both John Paul II and Pope John XXIII in a ceremony in St. Peter's Square on April 27.