VATICAN CITY - The Vatican on Saturday said it will beatify the late pope Paul VI on October 19 following the Catholic Church's recognition of a supposed miracle attributed to him, which will leave him one step from sainthood.
The apparent miracle identified by the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints was the healing of a foetus from an otherwise incurable illness.
"The beatification of the Venerable Servant of God Paul VI will take place in the Vatican on October 19," the Vatican said in a statement.
Italian Giovanni Montini reigned between 1963 and 1978 and presided over reforms from the Second Vatican Council, which aimed to modernise Catholicism.
He was praised for his efforts to seek closer ties with other Christian denominations but his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae was controversial for spelling out a ban on all forms of artificial contraception.
Catholic Church procedures require one miracle attributed for beatification, which confers the status of "blessed", and two miracles for canonisation to join the ranks of saints.
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Vatican to beatify pope Paul VI on October 19