Popes John Paul II and John XXIII to be declared saints in 2014

(AP)Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be declared saints on 27 April 2014.

The announcement came from Pope Francis, who said in July that the two late Church leaders would be canonised.

It will be the first double canonisation in the history of the Catholic Church.

Pope John Paul, a Pole, remains a much loved figure among the world's 1.2 billion Catholics eight years after his death.

The charismatic Pope travelled extensively, making 104 trips outside of Italy during his papacy.    

Pope John headed the Church from 1958 until his death in 1963 and is affectionately nicknamed the "Good Pope".  

He is remembered for his good sense of humour and for calling the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965). Unusually, he is being canonised without the usual requirement of a second miracle attributed to him.  

The date of 27 April will coincide with Divine Mercy Sunday in 2014, a special day instituted by Pope John Paul.