On the eighth anniversary of Blessed John Paul II's death, the Vatican official in charge of overseeing his canonization process says that people see some of him in Pope Francis.

"I see that people remember his words and his gestures, and I think that in many actions you can see similarities with Pope Francis," Monsignor Slawomir Oder told CNA April 2.

"We can perceive that both are similar in their openness, in their simplicity in approaching people and in their prayer," he said.

"Pope Francis invites each person to hope and to have the courage to embrace God in his life," he added.

April 2 marks the eighth anniversary of Blessed John Paul II passing away, and he could be proclaimed a saint if a second miracle, currently under study, is proven.

Bishop Emeritus of Rome Benedict XVI beatified him on May 1, 2011, after a French nun with Parkinson's disease was miraculously cured through his intercession.

"Now we're at the phase where it's necessary to wait for one more miracle," said Msgr. Slawomir Oder.

"I chose a few cases and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints chose one of those, which they are currently evaluating," he explained.

At 26 years, John Paul II's pontificate was the third longest in the history of the Catholic Church.

Msgr. Oder told the Italian publication Avvenire that cases which could be labeled as miraculous came from different parts of the world, including Poland, Italy, Spain, the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.