On Sunday, April 27th 2014 (Divine Mercy Sunday), the Catholic Church universally will be in a celebratory mood as two former popes will be canonized as Saints. In a press release, Vatican officials stated that John XXIII's postulator, Fr. Giovangiuseppe Califano, always practiced resolutions which would help him become an actual saint. Similarly, John Paul II's postulator, Msgr. Slavomir Oder stated that the two had met at a university and he knew what he was seeing was a 'future saint' because of his prayer habits and reflections on the values of life.
Back in September 2013, Pope Francis announced that a double canonization would take place on Divine Mercy Sunday of 2014. Rome states that they are expecting over 3 million visitors during the Easter celebrations and for the canonization and the New York Times has stated that 19 heads of states and 24 prime ministers among many other international guests are expected to attend the festivities at St. Peter's Square. Vicar for Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini revealed that some churches will remain open on the eve of the canonization to allow pilgrims to engage in special retreats.
Some of the many notable moments which many people are remembering the former popes for is the fact that John XXIII lead the church in the Second Vatican Council and that Pope John Paul II served as a key interpreter, leaving the church a profound legacy that continues to shape her to this date.
In May 2011, Pope John Paul II was beatified at the St. Peter's Basilica following a lavish ceremony after the Holy See discovered several miracles which occurred in the name of Pope John Paul II, making him the only Pope eligible for the fastest canonizing in modern history, following his death in 2005. Pope John XXIII, on the other hand, has had to wait 51 years for his canonization to take place.
May God Bless these two men of faith as we will soon call them Saint.
-- B. Durham, 2014