October 3, 2019 / 10:25 AM / 12 days ago

Pope moves Polish anti-communist cardinal closer to sainthood

FILE PHOTO: Pope John Paul II embraces Polish Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski on May 16, 1979 at the Vatican. REUTERS/File Photo

VATICAN ROME (Reuters) - Pope Francis has recognised a miracle attributed to the late Polish Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, a revered icon of his country’s resistance to communism in the post-war period, a step that moves him closer to sainthood.

A Vatican statement on Thursday said the pope had approved a decree recognising a miracle attributed to Wyszynski, who died in 1981 and was very close to Pope John Paul II, also a Pole. It did not give any details of the miracle.

Wyszynski spent three years in prison or under house arrest in the early 1950s during repression of religion by communist governments.

Approval of the miracle means Wyszynski will be beatified. The Vatican did not give the date of the beatification ceremony. Such ceremonies are usually held in the Vatican.

The Catholic Church teaches that only God performs miracles but that saints who are believed to be with God in heaven intercede on behalf of people who pray to them. A miracle is usually the medically inexplicable healing of a person.

For Wyszynski to be declared a saint, another miracle would have to be attributed to him.

Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Frances Kerry

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