VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis proclaimed his predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints on Sunday in front of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims celebrating two 20th century giants of the Roman Catholic Church.
Cheers and applause rang out across St Peter’s Square after the historic double canonisation as many in the crowd fixed their gaze on huge tapestries of the two popes on the facade of the basilica behind Francis.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world converged on St. Peter’s Square on Sunday to attend the sainthood ceremony of Pope John XXIII and John Paul II, two giants of the Catholic Church in the 20th century.
Some, including many families, waited for more than 12 hours along the main street leading to the Vatican before police opened up the square at 5:30 a.m., about four hours before the ceremony was due to start.
The late Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, who will be made saints on Sunday, did so much to end two millennia of Catholic anti-Semitism that a Jewish human rights group calls them “heroes to the Jewish people”.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Floribeth Mora Diaz does not care if people think she is crazy. She is convinced – and so is the Vatican – that she owes her life to a miracle cure because she prayed to the late Pope John Paul.
“I have experienced the mercy of God in my own life and I am grateful,” she told a news conference at the Vatican on Thursday explaining what Church investigators believe was a miracle attributed to John Paul’s intercession with God.
VATICAN CITY, April 24 (Reuters) – Two giants of Roman
Catholicism in the 20th century will become saints on Sunday at
an unprecedented twin canonisation that has aroused both joy and
controversy in the 1.2 billion member Church.
Pope John XXIII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963 and called
the modernising Second Vatican Council, and Pope John Paul II,
who reigned for nearly 27 years before his death in 2005 and
whose trips around the world made him the most visible pope in
history, will be declared saints by Pope Francis.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Catholic prelate who led the campaign to make the late Pope John Paul a saint exonerated the pontiff on Tuesday against accusations he turned a blind eye to one of the Church’s biggest sexual abuse scandals.
Victims of sexual abuse quickly criticized the prelate’s defense of John Paul, who died in 2005 and will be made a saint at a ceremony this weekend along with Pope John XXII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963.
VATICAN CITY, April 20 (Reuters) – Pope Francis, in his
Easter address before a huge crowd, on Sunday denounced the
“immense wastefulness” in the world while many go hungry and
called for an end to conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Africa.
“We ask you, Lord Jesus, to put an end to all war and every
conflict, whether great or small, ancient or recent,” he said in
his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Saturday led Easter rites commemorating what Christians believe was Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, and urged people to rediscover direction in their lives.
Marking the second Easter season of his pontificate, the Argentine pope said a solemn Mass before some 10,000 people in St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in Christendom.
ROME, April 18 (Reuters) – The plight of immigrants, the
poor, the sick, the elderly, unemployed and prisoners dominated
Pope Francis’ Good Friday service at Rome’s Colosseum as he led
Catholics around the world in commemorating the day Jesus died.
The pope, in the run-up to the second Easter of his
pontificate, presided at the traditional “Via Crucis” (Way of
the Cross) service around the ancient Roman ruin.
The Vatican’s official preacher, at a Good Friday service attended by Pope Francis, said huge salaries and the world financial crisis were modern evils caused by the “cursed hunger for gold”.