The number of saints and blessed increased in John Paul II's pontificate. He alone proclaimed more saints and blessed than all his predecessors together since 1588, the year this dicastery was founded. John Paul II was very aware that there was talk of an inflation of saints and blessed, and he responded that it wasn't true.
John Paul II said, holiness is what is most important in the Church, according to the Second Vatican Council. Then no one should be surprised by the fact that the Pope wished to propose so many models of holiness to Christians, to the People of God.
[Another] reason was that "the saints and blessed manifest the charity of a local Church," that is, today, the Holy Father said, local Churches are far more numerous than in the last 10 centuries. Therefore, we shouldn't be surprised that there are also more saints, more blessed who express and manifest the holiness of these increased local Churches.
Comments from Cardinal José Saraiva Martins.