Blessed Paul VI could be declared a saint in 2018, according to the newspaper of his home diocese.

La Voce del Popolo, the newspaper of the Diocese of Brescia, reported that the medical and theological commissions of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes both gave positive opinions about a healing that could be the miracle needed for the pope’s canonisation.

The cardinals and bishops who are members of the congregation still need to vote for recognition of the miracle, and Francis must recognise it before holding a consistory to approve the canonisation.

But the headline in the diocesan newspaper proclaimed: “It will be the year of St Paul VI”.

“The rumours are so insistent and the steps so quick that everything indicates 2018 will be the year of the canonisation of Blessed Paul VI,” the paper reported.

A canonisation in 2018 “is more than a hope”, the newspaper said. “The month of October could be the right one,” given that the synod of bishops would be meeting. Blessed Paul VI re-established the Synod of Bishops as a permanent advisory body in 1965. “What better occasion could there be to canonise, before such a significant portion of the College of Bishops, the other pope of the Second Vatican Council?” the paper asked.

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