Today, 27th of April, 2014, Pope Francis declared as saints, Pope John XXIII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963, and Pope John Paul II, who reigned for nearly 27 years before his death in 2005 and was obviously the most visible pope in history. The double canonization of the two Popes to Saints also coincided with the Feast Of Divine Mercy.
The canonization/declaration by Pope Francis was made in front of hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholic faithfuls. Former Pope Benedict, who resigned last year was present at the canonization mass.
Here’s what Pope Francis said during the official declaration at about 10.15am today:
“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.”
Below is a photo of a cross section of Bishops who attended the canonisation mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican:
Roman Catholic Faithfuls fill St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican: