Francis made the announcement at a meeting with cardinals inside the Apostolic Palace on Monday. He also announced the approval of a miracle attributed to Pope John Paul’s intercession. In July Francis approved a second miracle attributed to John Paul.
Pope John Paul died in 2005, making his 2011 beatification one of the quickest in recent Church history. He is also the first Pope to be beatified by his immediate successor.
The current Pope is also bending Vatican rules by deciding that John XXIII did not need one. He reigned from 1958 to 1963 and oversaw sweeping reforms to modernize the Church, even though he has only been credited with one miracle since his death.
Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi said there is no reason why Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI would not join Pope Francis I in the saint-making ceremony. He told the Associated Press, “There's no reason — either doctrinal or institutional — that he couldn't participate in a public ceremony. I don't have any reason to exclude it."
Pope John Paul visited Ireland from September 29 to October 1, 1979. It’s estimated that of the country’s 3.5 million Catholics, 2.5 million saw the Pope.
Here’s footage of Pope John Paul II’s famous Mass in the Phoenix Park, in Dublin, in 1979: