London, April 3 : Pope Benedict XVI said that his successor John Paul II had supernatural qualities, while speaking at a mass in St Peter's Square to mark the third anniversary of the latter's death.
"Among many human and supernatural qualities, he had an exceptional spiritual and mystical sensibility," Times Online quoted him as saying.
"We relive with emotion the hours of that Saturday evening when the news of his death was announced to the great crowd which filled St Peter's Square ... Let us give thanks to the Lord for having given to the Church this faithful and brave servant," added Pope Benedict who put John Paul on the path to sainthood shortly after his election, by waiving the five year waiting period before a beatification cause can be opened.
The diocesan phase of the beatification cause, the step before sainthood, opened in Rome in June 2005, and concluded in April last year.
The next step for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints is to conclude that John Paul had "heroic virtues", and for Pope Benedict to proclaim his predecessor "venerable".