Sunday, 27 April 2014

Vatican Declares Popes John Paul II And John XXIII Saints

Pope Francis has declared two of his predecessors, John Paul II and John XXIII, saints of the Roman Catholic church.

During the official proclamation at about 10.15am today, Pope Francis paid tribute to "two men of courage" who he said had "co-operated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the church". He said:
"We declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II to be saints and we enrol them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church. They were priests, bishops and popes of the 20th century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them.Continue...
 John XXIII, he said, was a pastor to the church, "a servant leader" who had called the Second Vatican Council. John Paul II, meanwhile, was "the pope of the family". Pope Francis said he hoped the two new saints would intercede with God "so that … [the church] may be open to the Holy Spirit in pastoral service to the family".

Carrying flags, backpacks and rolled foam mattresses, over 500,000 pilgrims from all over the world had flocked into Vatican City overnight to attend the unprecedented double-canonisation mass in St Peter's Square.

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