List of Popes Canonized by Pope Francis

So far, Pope Francis has canonized three popes in his tenure pontiff.

April 27, 2014, Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City

  • Pope John XXIII (1881–1963)
    The process for canonization for him began on November 18, 1965, initiated by his successor, Pope Paul VI, who bestowed upon him the title of Servant of God. In a notable departure from conventional requirements, which typically include the validation of a second miracle, Pope Francis proclaimed him a saint on July 5, 2013.

    This unprecedented decision was grounded in recognition of his exemplary virtues, the positive impact of his initiating the Second Vatican Council, and his overall contribution to the Church. His sanctification was officially confirmed in a ceremony that also canonized Pope John Paul II, taking place on April 27, 2014.

  • Pope John Paul II (1920–2005)
    Pope Francis officially sanctioned the canonization on July 5, 2013, after acknowledging a miracle attributed to the intercessory prayers of John Paul II.

    For John Paul’s sainthood, the initial miracle involved the cure of Sister Marie Pierre from Parkinson’s disease, attributed to his intercession. The subsequent miracle concerned Floribeth Mora Diaz, who experienced a recovery from a life-threatening brain condition following an aneurysm, also credited to his intervention.

October 14, 2018, Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City

  • Pope Paul VI (1897–1978)
    Pope Paul VI was canonized due to his significant contributions to the Catholic Church and his role in modernizing and reforming it, especially through his leadership of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) after the death of Pope John XXIII. The Council brought about profound changes in the Church’s approach to the modern world, including the promotion of liturgical reform, ecumenism (efforts to promote unity among Christian denominations), and a renewed emphasis on the Church’s mission in the contemporary era.

    Pope Paul VI was also recognized for his efforts in promoting peace and justice globally, his encyclicals such as “Humanae Vitae” (1968) which addressed the Church’s teachings on birth control, and his work in continuing and implementing the reforms initiated by the Second Vatican Council.

    His canonization process began after his death in 1978 and progressed with the recognition of his life of heroic virtue, leading to his beatification in 2014. The canonization was finalized after the recognition of a miracle attributed to his intercession, involving the healing of an unborn child in the United States in the 21st century, who was healed in utero of a serious condition after her family prayed to Pope Paul VI.

    Pope Francis canonized Paul VI on October 14, 2018, recognizing him as a saint of the Catholic Church. This acknowledgment of his sainthood is a testament to his impactful leadership and the holiness of his life.