Pope Francis Declares Popes John Paul II, John XXIII as Saints

World | April 27, 2014, Sunday // 13:01| Views: 912 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Pope Francis Declares Popes John Paul II, John XXIII as Saints Photo by EPA/BGNES

Pope Francis on Sunday proclaimed as saints Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII in an unprecedented ceremony in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.

A Mass co-celebrated by Pope Francis and his predecessor Benedict was watched by roughly one million pilgrims at the Vatican, while millions more watched on television around the world.

The the first dual canonization of former popes was attended by nearly 100 foreign delegations, according to reports of CNN.

It was also the first ceremony of this kind to bring together two living popes, Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict.

Among the dignitaries on the guest list were 24 heads of state and 10 heads of government, including Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.

The ceremony was also attended by 150 cardinals and 1000 bishops, as well as some 6000 priests.

The decision for the dual canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II is seen as an attempt to unite conservative and reformist camps within the Roman Catholic Church.

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Tags: Pope Francis, Pope John Paul II, canonization, Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI, Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev
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