Loose Canonization: Nun’s Relapse Leaves the Late Pope John Paul II Short a Miracle for Beatification and Eventual Sainthood

It appears that the late Pope John Paul II may be short one miracle. Supporters of an expedited process for sainthood for John Paul suffered a blow this month with the news that accounts of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre’s recovery from Parkinson’s disease may have been premature. Three years ago, the sister explained how she regained her health after a night of prayer to John Paul. That miracle was the basis for the call for rapid canonization.

In some ways, the relapse supports traditionalists who insist on a much longer period of examination for such elevation for sainthood. After the Pope’s death, the crowd began to chant “santo subito”, or “saint straightaway”. Many in the church supported the effort but they would need at least two miracles. One seemed to come with Sister Marie.

In 2007, the sister could barely move her left side, could not write legibly, drive or move around without great pain. She said that, after writing Pope John Paul’s name on a paper, and joining her order in praying to him, she woke without pain and was able to return to her duties.

Doctors, however, believe that she was in fact in remission from a diseases that is similar but not the same as Parkinson’s. The 49-year-old nun later fell ill again with the same symptoms, which doctors say is not uncommon to this diseases.

The report comes at a time when supporters wanted to move beyond the “beatification” stage — a precursor to sainthood. Beatification requires at least one miracle. A second is needed for sainthood.

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19 thoughts on “Loose Canonization: Nun’s Relapse Leaves the Late Pope John Paul II Short a Miracle for Beatification and Eventual Sainthood”

  1. Saints in the Catholick Corporation. Let me see now. Anything that flows from a flawed premise is necessarily flawed. The entire premise on which the Catholick Corporation is based is one huge con so it logically follows that saints are also based on fantasy. Look at the evil carried out by priests; hell, look at the present pope regarding the choir schoolchildren in Germany. From whatever direction you observe the Catholick Corporation, it is equally diseased, decrepit, rotten and foul. Should be done away with, I say.

  2. Helping engineering the downfall of the Soviet Union doesn’t count in the Roman Catholic Church? If that was not a miracle, what is? Plus JPII forgave the man who gunned him down, class act there. Still there is the minor issue of the molesting Irish priests and the molesting Boston priests and the molesting (fill in the blank) priests. Can’t win them all.

  3. There’s got to be a mistake here … catholics want to bestow sainthood on the Grand Poobah Protector of the United Pedophile Catholic Priests Union?

    Naw … the papers must have it wrong … it’s gotta be the other guy … which is just as crazy but at least not diabolical.

  4. AY,

    I fail to see how this is really all that relevant, but it’s a great song.


  5. Cookie, Cookie, Cookie,

    Faith, faith, faith. You have none, now go and read the story of Lazarus…

  6. Greg Giraldo via Ed Brayton:

    “The last pope everyone says is a saint now, they want to make him a saint. They say they have evidence that he performed miracles. Miracles! I don’t mean to sound sacrilegious, but miracles? You think the pope performed miracles? He died of a urinary tract infection. He had less magic powers than cranberry juice, but somehow I’m supposed to believe he had quite a bag of tricks up his sleeve.”

  7. “Supporters of an expedited process for sainthood for John Paul ..”

    What?! Sainthood?! Pope John Paul?! Didn’t he reign as the Sovereign of Vatican City for only a month? Okay, the man had a great smile and to all accounts from those who knew him, he was a warm and loving man but … Sainthood?!

    Oh well, I’m not a catholic so really don’t have any business butting in, however, come on, there is absolutely no way that John Paul earned equal status with St. Anthony!

  8. “The good news is I think we’ve proven that Mike and I aren’t the same person after all…”

    Who thought that? You’re a musician and I can’t carry a tune. Besides, I remember the 40’s.

  9. No Saint No Pope Aint. However, as an atheist I surely must have personally witnessed 2 miracles in my life.

    1) George W. Bush was president of the USA for *8* years

    2) Sister Sarah Palin’s rising star in politics while people take her seriously.

    There is no logical evidence that one can rationally posit to explain those 2 weird, incredible phenomena; therefore we must “believe” in the irrational, super duper supernatural…OMG!

  10. The good news is I think we’ve proven that Mike and I aren’t the same person after all…

  11. The problem with worshiping a God of the Gaps is that the gaps keep getting smaller. Miracles are scarce in an age where information is plentiful.

  12. The RCC needs something desperately to counteract all the bad publicity. Hey let’s find a popular Pope and make him a saint.
    Religon be damned, PR is king.

  13. What do you bet they somehow discover another ‘miracle’ to attribute to him?

  14. First, what raff said. John Paul II was a decent man – regardless of his religious affiliation. You cheapen his legacy. How about saving the next sainthood for the Pope that cleans all the pedophiles out of “your” house? Yeah . . . that’s the ticket.


    Thanks. Partially back, but back. Neck deep in boxes still.

  15. In this century it appears that you cannot buy your way into the class of a saint. Not so true not so many years ago. However, this Pope does deserve so recognition for his spirituality and even the forgiveness of his shooter

    Buddha good to see you back.

  16. Isn’t being the Pope and being a nice person a good enough title? To go and try to fabricate a miracle diminishes the man’s work.

  17. Reminiscent of the rush job to make Mother Theresa a saint using a miracle of a miraculous cure of a “cancerous” abdominal tumor that the attending physician said was merely a predictable response to a nine month treatment plan for a tubercular cyst (and not cancer at all). Rationality be damned when the Church wants a “saint” — a “saint” they shall have. It’s good PR!

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