Pope Francis to declare Popes John Paul II, John XXIII saints in April

Pope Francis will declare Popes John Paul II and John XXIII saints on April 27 next year.

The announcement was made on Monday during a meeting with cardinals.

The Associated Press reported that analysts have said the decision to canonize the two popes together was aimed at unifying the church because each has his own admirers and critics.

In July, Pope Francis had announced he would canonize the two together.

On the anniversary of John Paul’s death this year, Francis prayed at the tombs of both men – an indication that he sees a great personal and spiritual continuity in them, the Daily Mail said in its report.

A spokesman for Poland’s bishops’ conference said the dual canonizations would stress the fact that John Paul II continued the ideas introduced by John XXIII.

Originally, the canonization was expected to have taken place December 8 but Polish bishops complained that would make it difficult for Polish pilgrims to come to the Vatican by bus along snowy, icy roads.

As a result, the first Sunday after Easter was chosen instead – a feast day established by John Paul.

It was on that same feast day – Divine Mercy Sunday – that John Paul was beatified in 2011, drawing 1.5 million pilgrims to Rome.


The Daily Mail

AP/The Telegraph

USA Today

Image: Hotel del Artistes

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