Fr. Robert Barron, in "Two Saintly Popes: How John Paul II and John XXIII Modeled Virtue" (Catholic World Report, April 23, 2014), undertakes to describe the heroic virtues for which these two Blessed Popes are being "raised to the altars" this weekend. He writes:
No one with the slightest amount of historical sensibility would doubt that these men were figures of enormous significance and truly global impact. But being a world historical personage is not the same as being a saint; otherwise neither Therese of Lisieux, nor John Vianney, nor Benedict Joseph Labre would be saints. So what is it that made these two men worthy particularly of canonization, of being “raised to the altars” throughout the Catholic world?Read more >> Trust me: it's interesting.
Happily, the Church provides rather clear and objective criteria for answering this question. A saint is someone who lived a life of “heroic virtue” on earth and who is now living the fullness of God’s life in heaven.