John Paul II: A Saint of a Man

With two miracles and 59 years of dedication to Catholicism, Pope John Paul II is in the running to be ordained as a saint.
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With two miracles and 59 years of dedication to Catholicism, Pope John Paul II is in the running to be ordained as a saint.

Karol Wojtyla, Future Pope John-Paul II, in a temporary camp in the Tatras Mountains, Poland, circa 1960. (Getty)

Karol Wojtyla, Future Pope John-Paul II, in a temporary camp in the Tatras Mountains, Poland, circa 1960. (Getty)

Thirty-five years ago this week, Pope John Paul II, then Karol Wojtyla, was elected as the first non-Italian Pope in over 400 years. And now in the coming months, he might also be decreed a saint.

In order to become a saint in the Catholic system, the formula sounds fairly simple...yet almost impossible at the same time: Live a holy life + Perform two miracles = You're saint material. John Paul II was ordained a priest in 1946 and lived within the world of the Catholic church until his death on April 2, 2005. He dedicated 59 years of his life to his religion and in the process performed the required two miracles.

What were those two miracles? It was reported that he cured a French nun by the name of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre of Parkinson's disease—and did this several months after he had died. The other miracle was concerning a woman in Costa Rica who survived a brain aneurism after praying to John Paul II.

Looking at the photo above, it's hard to believe that someone who may have just been your friend or neighbor was destined for sainthood. But then again, it's not always those who seek such lofty positions that find it.