Saints at the Double; VATICAN APPROVES PONTIFFS' HONOURS; Thousands of Irish Pilgrims to See Good Pope & John Paul II Canonised

The Mirror (London, England), October 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Saints at the Double; VATICAN APPROVES PONTIFFS' HONOURS; Thousands of Irish Pilgrims to See Good Pope & John Paul II Canonised


Byline: PAT FLANAGAN

THOUSANDS of Irish pilgrims are to travel to Rome to witness the canonisation of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

The pontiffs will be declared saints on April 27 next year after Pope Francis made a ruling at the weekend.

The move means tens of thousands of people who saw the late John Paul II during his visit here in 1979 will have been in the presence of a saint.

Pope Francis said in July he would canonise two of the 20th century's most influential religious leaders together.

The event will attract up to two million visitors to the Vatican and already there is a massive demand for hotel rooms.

In a major break with convention, Pope Francis has decided to make John XXIII a saint even though the Church has not confirmed a second miracle.

Catholic leaders said Pope Francis had the authority to "dispense" with the normal procedures to canonise him.

Thousands of Irish people are expected to travel for the double canonisation as both popes were very popular here.

Many of the faithful fondly remember Pope John Paul II's trip to Ireland and will want to be at the service.

Pope John XXIII, known as the "Good Pope", is also much-loved on these shores and is seen as the reformer who gave the Church back to the people.

He reigned from 1958 until 1963 and called the Second Vatican Council, which brought in sweeping changes. Pope Benedict XVI put John Paul II, who became pontiff in 1978, on the fast-track for possible sainthood.

In a controversial move, the leader dispensed with the five-year waiting period and allowed the beatification process to begin weeks after the pope's death in 2005. …

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