Pope Francis, who has led the Catholic Church since March, approved the former pope’s second miracle and set the stage for his sainthood.
The miracle is believed to be the curing of a woman with a brain injury in Costa Rica. John Paul II is also celebrated for curing a French nun from Parkinson's disease, know as the former pope's first miracle.
John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyła, became Archbishop of Krakow in 1964 and served as pope from 1978 to 2005. In 1981 he survived an assassination attempt and forgave his would-be killer.
The Vatican also announced sainthood for Pope John XXIII, an Italian who held the position from 1958 until 1963.