Last Tuesday, the Vatican approved the recognition of the second miracle attributed to Blessed Pope Paul VI, paving the way for his canonization into the sainthood later this year.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which oversees the complex canonization process, voted unanimously to approve a second miracle attributed to Paul VI’s intercession. The vote now goes to Pope Francis, who must issue a formal Vatican decree of approval. After the decree, a date for a canonization ceremony can be set.
The miracle attributed to Paul VI is the healing of a sick unborn child in the fifth month of pregnancy. The mother from Verona, Italy had an illness that threatened the lives of both her baby and herself, leaving doctors to recommend she have an abortion.
Following the beatification of Blessed Pope Paul VI on October 19, 2014, the woman went to the Shrine of Holy Mary of Grace in the city of Brescia, in the Lombardy region of Italy. There she prayed to Paul VI and asked for his intercession for good health for her and the baby. Four months later, a perfectly healthy baby girl was born without any complications for the mother.
The case was shortly thereafter brought to the congregation and the medical council ruled the healing medically inexplicable, with consulting theologians agreeing the miraculous healing was attributed to the late pontiff’s intercession.
After the head cardinal of the congregation takes the miracle to Pope Francis for approval, a consistory will set the date. The canonization will most likely take place in October of this year, during the Synod of Bishops on the Youth.
The first step of Pope Paul VI’s path to saint hood took place in December of 2012, when Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said he had lived a life of heroic virtue, and declared him Venerable. He was beatified on 19 October 2014 during the Synod of Bishops on the Family, with the first miracle attributed to the miraculous healing of an unborn child in California during the 1990s. The mother was advised to have an abortion, but prayed to Paul VI and her child was born safely.