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Decision on Opus Dei founder's canonisation expected today

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints will officially clear the way for the canonisation of Opus Dei founder Monsignor Josemaria Escriva, and stigmatist Padre Pio, today, according to informed sources.

Catholic World News reports that Juan Diego, to whom the Virgin Mary appeared at Gaudalupe, will also be approved for canonisation.

Today's formal audience with Pope John Paul II in the Clementine Hall of the apostolic palace will include a reading by the Congregation of 13 decrees. In some cases these decrees will recognise a miracle, opening the way for a beatification or canonisation. In other cases the decrees will recognise the "heroic virtue" of a candidate-- for whom a miracle would then fulfill the last requirement for beatification.

These decrees, approved by the bishops of the Congregation, become official when they are read in the Pope's presence, and gain his approval.

Five candidates will be approved for canonization this week, but only three names are known. These canonisations will take place sometime next year. The ceremonies will be formally scheduled at the next meeting of the "ordinary consistory" of cardinals present in Rome, which is scheduled for February. Preparations for these ceremonies will be intensive, as the Vatican expects enormous crowds. The beatification of Monsignor Escriva in 1992 drew an estimated 300,000 people.