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Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II Proclaimed Saints
Update on:27-Apr-2014


Half a million people attended the ceremony held this morning in St. Peter's Square for the canonization of the “two Pope saints”: John XXIII and John Paul II. Since it was opened to the public at 5 a.m., the square and its environs were filled with faithful from all over the world; Polish pilgrims, however, constituted one of the largest groups. The event was also attended by delegations from over a hundred countries, more than twenty Heads of State and many figures from the world of politics and culture, including the King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium, Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, the ex-president of the Republic of Poland Lech Walesa, the president of the Argentine parliament Julian Dominguez and the presidents of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy, and the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. The celebration was also attended by Floribeth Mora Diaz and Sister Adele Labianca, the carer of Caterina Capitani – the two women who experienced the miracles attributed to John Paul II.

 “We declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II to be saints and we enroll them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church,” Francis said in his formal proclamation in Latin about 30 minutes into the solemn service.

The Holy Father concluded. “May these two new saints and shepherds of God’s people intercede for the Church, so that during this two-year journey toward the Synod she may be open to the Holy Spirit in pastoral service to the family. May both of them teach us not to be scandalised by the wounds of Christ and to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives, because it always loves”.

Pope John Paul II was born Karol Józef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland. He was ordained in 1946, became the bishop of Ombi in 1958, and became the archbishop of Krakow in 1964. He was made a cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1967, and in 1978 became the first non-Italian pope in more than 400 years. He was a vocal advocate for human rights and used his influence to effect political change. He died in Italy on 2 April 2005. He was the second longest-serving pope in modern history and, as a Pole, the first non-Italian since Pope Adrian VI, who died in 1523.

John Paul II's cause for canonization commenced in 2005 shortly after his death with the traditional five-year waiting period waived. On 19 December 2009, John Paul II was proclaimed Venerable by his successor Pope Benedict XVI and was beatified on 1 May 2011 after the Congregation for the Causes of Saints attributed one miracle to him, the healing of a French nun from Parkinson's disease. A second miracle, attributed to the late pope, was approved on 2 July 2013 and confirmed by Pope Francis two days later.

Pope Saint John XXIII, born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (25 November 1881 – 3 June 1963), was Pope from 28 October 1958 to his death in 1963. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was the fourth of fourteen children born to a family of sharecroppers that lived in a village in Lombardy. He was ordained a priest on 10 August 1904 and served in a number of posts, including papal nuncio in France and a delegate to Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. In a consistory on 12 January 1953 Pope Pius XII made Roncalli a cardinal, Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prisca, in addition to naming him the Patriarch of Venice. Pope John XXIII surprised those who expected him to be a caretaker pope by calling the historic Second Vatican Council (1962–65), the first session opening on 11 October 1962. He did not live to see it to completion. John died of stomach cancer on 3 June 1963, four and a half years after his election and two months after the completion of his final and famed encyclical, Pacem in Terris.

He was known affectionately as "Good Pope John". On 3 September 2000, John was declared "Blessed" alongside Pope Pius IX by Pope John Paul II, the penultimate step on the road to sainthood after a miracle of curing an ill woman was discovered. He was the first pope since Pope Pius X to receive this honour. Following his beatification, his body was moved from its original burial place in the grottoes below St Peter's Basilica to the altar of St. Jerome and displayed for the veneration of the faithful.

 

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