Oh, when the saints go marching in... two more will be among their number.
Two deceased popes will be declared saints next year, the Vatican said Monday after a meeting between Pope Francis and the cardinals.
Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be canonized at a ceremony on April 27, 2014.
Media reports said the unusual double canonization appeared to be aimed at unifying the Catholic Church.
Pope John Paul, who led the church from 1978 until 2005, was known as a conservative, while Pope John XXIII, who was pontiff from 1958 until 1963, was a favorite of the church’s progressive wing.
Pope Benedict XVI, who has shunned the public spotlight since resigning from the top job in the Catholic Church earlier this year, may also attend the ceremony.
The qualifications for sainthood are straightforward: the deceased person must have lived a holy life and performed two miracles.
Pope John Paul is credited with miraculously curing a French nun stricken with Parkinson’s disease and a Costa Rican woman suffering a brain aneurism.
Pope John is said to have performed one miracle after his death in 1963, but Pope Francis decided that was sufficient to enter the sainthood.