Pope Francis has beatified Pope Paul VI at a mass in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican to mark the end of the Synod on the family.
Amongst those present was the previous pope, Benedict, who retired earlier this year.
Paul VI was Pontiff from 1963 until his death in 1978, and was famous for reaffirming the Church’s ban on birth control. The Catholic Church is honoring his work to spread social justice and minister to the poor.
Beatification is the third of four steps in the process to become a saint and requires one miracle to be attributed. Once a second miracle is attributed a person can become a saint.
Pope Paul VI’s miracle is that a pregnant woman in the US was advised to have an abortion because of danger to her life. She refused and asked a nun to pray for her using a photo of Pope Paul VI. The child was later born healthy.
Earlier this year Francis canonised two other former popes, allowing them to become saints.