On April 27, 2014, Divine Mercy Sunday, the late Pope John Paul II (1920-2005), born Karol Józef Wojtyla, was canonized a saint.
To be eligible for canonization by the Catholic Church, two miracles must be attributed to a candidate. If the alleged miracle is a healing, a Vatican commission of doctors must conclude that the healing had no natural (medical) explanation.
Two miracles have been attributed to John Paul’s intercession with God, paving the way for his sainthood.
As reported by Josephine McKenna for Religion News Service, April 24, 2014, the first miracle attributed to John Paul was the apparent healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who recovered from Parkinson’s disease with no medical explanation after praying to the late pontiff soon after his death in 2005.
The second miracle attributed to John Paul was the healing of Floribeth Mora Diaz‘s inoperable brain aneurysm three years ago.
In 2011, Diaz was suffering from persistent headaches and was told by doctors that she had only one month to live. Confined to bed, she lay holding a magazine with a cover photograph of the Polish pope in her home in Tres Rios de Cartago, 12 miles from the capital of San José, Costa Rica. She claimed her prayers were answered when John Paul II appeared to her in a vision on the day he was beatified, May 1, 2011 — the first step on the road to sainthood — after he was credited with his first miracle.
“When I woke up in the morning, I looked at the magazine cover which showed Pope Wojtyla with his arms outstretched. I felt a deep sense of healing. I heard his voice say to me, ‘Get up and don’t be afraid,’” she said, recalling one of John Paul’s signature lines.
In October 2013, Diaz was flown to Policlinico Gemelli, a church-run hospital in Rome, where doctors conducted rigorous tests for two weeks. Her own neurosurgeon was also convinced. “If I cannot explain it from a medical standpoint, something nonmedical happened,” said Dr. Alejandro Vargas Roman. “I can believe it was a miracle.”
Given John Paul’s sainthood, it is of no small significance that in August 1976, the Bicentennial of the founding of the United States of America, then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla gave a talk to Polish Americans at St Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan, where he made the following apocalyptic remarks:
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realized this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine Providence; it is a trial which the whole Church … must take up.
It is a trial of not only our nation and the Church, but in a sense a test of 2,000 years of culture and Christian civilization with all of its consequences for human dignity, individual rights, human rights and the rights of nations.”
Source: here; and Frank Renkiewicz, For God, Country and Polonia: One Hundred Years of Orchard Lake Schools, p. 146.