Pope Francis makes history by performing a dual canonization


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Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII were canonized saints on Sunday April, 27 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014, was a day of monumental proportions for Catholics all around the world. On that Sunday: two popes, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, were canonized in the first ever dual canonization. The Canonization Mass was performed by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square, Rome. About 800,000 men, women, and children crowded the streets trying to gain entry and be a part of history and an estimated 500,000, sat or stood, as they watched on giant screens around Rome.

CNN wrote in their article, a quote by Pope Francis when he spoke about them in his homily,”They were priests, bishops, and popes of the 20th century,” he said; “They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful, faith was more powerful.”

Pope John Paul II grew up in Poland during the rise of Nazi Germany and was pope from 1978-2005 (27 years), facing the problems of the world throughout his papacy. Pope John XXIII was pope from 1953-1963 (10 years) during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and put gave his best efforts to get the problems solved.

Pope John Paul II’s beatification was much quicker than normal, because the pope following him, Pope Benedict, waived the normal rule of waiting five years after death. Academy theology teacher, Bethany Jacobs, was inspired by Pope John Paul II and found it inspiring to see him be canonized.

“I think it’s an inspiring thing to see for us, because he lived in our times. A lot of times you don’t actually get to see the canonization of someone in your time. He was a remarkable man who did so many things for people, and I think his life alone that we could see is proof of his sainthood.”

To become a saint, the one being considered must go through a lengthy process:

1) Local bishop investigates their life and writings and sends it to the Vatican.
2) A group of special cardinals evaluate their life.
3) If approved, they are declared venerable, meaning a role model of the Catholic faith.
4) The next step is to be beatified.
5) If beatified, they can be canonized.