Push for Saint John Paul II
A dossier of miracles purportedly performed by John Paul II - curing cancer, blindness and paraplegia - is being compiled by Vatican officials amid public calls for his canonisation.
The Australian reports that some Cardinals spoke out in support of his canonisation yesterday, in their last remarks before embarking upon a period of silence before the Conclave.
Cardinal Francesco Marchiano, dean of St Peter's Basilica, recounted his own brush with the late pope's healing powers during a commemorative mass.
He said the pope had restored his voice, after a bungled operation damaged his vocal cords five years ago.
"He caressed where my throat had been operated, telling me, 'Don't worry, you will heal soon, the Lord will help you speak again'," Cardinal Marchiano told his congregation.
"After some time, I regained my voice."
Roman Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini said he was "touched" by the crowd's spontaneous chanting of "Santo subito" - sainthood immediately - during Friday's funeral service.
"That was a public proclamation of sainthood," he told Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper.
Italian Cardinal Ersilio Tonini said the crowd's clamour for sainthood "tells us there is a question that the church must take up, and that will not go ignored".
Ten days ago, pilgrims were praying for the pope on his death bed but since his demise, many have been praying to him instead, in the belief he holds saintly powers.
"He should be made a saint," insisted Calabrian mourner Umberto Maruzetti, one of 250,000 pilgrims to visit St Peter's Basilica the day after the funeral. "Immediately."
But Polish doctor Anne Szostak, praying with dozens of pilgrims before a makeshift shrine flickering with candles below the obelisk in St Peter's Square yesterday, saw no need for a formal canonisation: "I think he is a saint already."
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Push for Saint John Paul II (The Australian 11/4/05)
11 Apr 2005