John Paul II is to become a saint, after approving a second miracle attributed to the late pontiff, the Vatican said Friday.
This breaks the record for the fastest canonization in modern times.
Archdiocese of Toronto spokesperson Neil MacCarthy told 680News about the time he was able to spend with the late pontiff.
“I had the chance to meet the late Holy Father a couple of times, and there’s a certain feeling when you just walked in the room and he was there. It sort of transcended everything else, so a very special man and obviously the church has recognized that today,” McCarthy said.
Listen to 680News’ entire interview with Neil MacCarthy.
Toronto has a close connection to John Paul II, with visits to the city in 1984 and for World Youth Day in 2002, which drew about a million people to Downsview Park.
Pope Francis also decided Friday to canonize another pope, John XXIII, even though there has been no second miracle attributed to his intercession.
The Vatican said Francis approved a decision by cardinals and bishops.
The ceremonies are expected before the end of the year.
The date of Dec. 8 has been floated as a possibility, given it’s the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a major feast day for the church.