St. Anthony Messenger
St. Anthony Messenger
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John XXIII and John Paul II: Our Newest Saints
“To canonize them both,” says Pope Francis, “will be a message to the Church.” A leading Church historian tells us why.
April 2014
PAINTINGS BY PETER GRAY, SS IT WAS CERTAINLY no surprise when Pope Francis declared last July that Blessed John Paul II (1978-2005) would be the next papal saint. The Polish pope’s canonization seemed only a matter of time, just like that of Blessed Mother Teresa.

However, in what is becoming his characteristic way of catching everyone unaware, Pope Francis declared not only that he was naming Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) a saint—and at the same time waiving the customary requirement of a second miracle—but also that he would canonize John XXIII and John Paul II together in the same ceremony on April 27.

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Christopher M. Bellitto, PhD, is chair and associate professor of history at Kean University in Union, New Jersey. His books include 101 Questions & Answers on Popes and the Papacy and Renewing Christianity (both from Paulist Press).
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