TWO weeks after Pope Benedict XVI lifted the five-year waiting period before starting a beatification process, his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, is on his way to possible sainthood after an edict was issued calling for testimonies proving the virtues of the late pope.

The edict, signed by Camillo Ruini, vicar of the Diocese of Rome, was published on May 18 in response to the flood of requests to make the late pontiff a saint.

The edict will be posted on the headquarters’ doors of the Diocese of Rome and Krakow, Poland for two months.

Ruini, however, cautioned that John Paul’s beatification may still take years as the rigid canonization procedures cannot be entirely disregarded.

Aside from testimonies and published materials, the edict aims to gather John Paul’s works, most of which will later be burned, pursuant to his will.

The waiver of the five-year period is not novel. During John Paul’s papacy, he lifted the period in the case of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whose sainthood cause started a year after her death.

In his 26-year reign, John Paul beatified 1,388 faithful and canonized more than 470 beatos, both an unprecedented figure.

Among these beatified and canonized were St. Lorenzo Ruiz and five Thomasians—four professors and a student. They were beatified by the late Pontiff when he first visited the Philippines in 1981. Mary Rose M. Pabelonia

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