Two Popes to be Canonized April 27

The Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers, rejoices with the worldwide Catholic Church on the Canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

Churches across Rome will observe a “White night of prayer” that includes prayer, readings, Liturgy and confessions beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday, April 26.

Pope Francis will preside over the Mass of Canonization in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican at 10 a.m. (Rome time) on Sunday, April 27, 2014 Divine Mercy Sunday. About 1,000 cardinals, bishops and priests will concelebrate the Mass. Vatican TV will live stream the Mass.

Following the Mass, there will be a visit to the tombs of new saints.

On Monday, April 28, there will be a Mass of Thanksgiving in St. Peter’s Square. Cardinal Angelo Comastri will preside.

You can find out more information about the Catholic Church’s newest saints, as well as more details on their canonization on the official canonization website, available in five languages.

Biographical facts

Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., and Pope John XXIIIPope John XXIII
  • Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was elected pontiff on Oct. 20, 1958.
  • He was the third of 13 children and was born on Nov. 25, 1881, in Sotto il Monte (Bergamo), Italy.
  • He entered the seminary at age 12 and he studied at the Apollinaris in Rome.
  • He served in the Italian Army, but completed his seminary studies, obtaining a doctorate in theology before being ordained in 1904.
  • He was recalled to the Army to serve as a chaplain during World War I in 1915 for three years.
  • In 1921, he reorganized the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
  • He served in Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and France.
  • He was made a cardinal in 1953.
  • Pope John XXIII died on June 3, 1963.

Fr. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., and Pope John Paul IIPope John Paul II
  • Karol Jozef Wotyla was elected the 263rd successor to Peter Oct. 16, 1978.
  • He was the youngest of three children, born on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland.
  • He studied drama at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University in 1938, but was forced to work in a quarry from 1940 to 1944 because the Nazi occupation closed the university in 1939.
  • In 1942, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Krakow. He continued studies in the major seminary of the city after World War II.
  • He was ordained to the priesthood on Nov. 1, 1946.
  • Appointed Archbishop of Krakow on Jan. 13, 1964; and cardinal on June 26, 1967.
  • Participated in the Second Vatican Council.
  • Made 104 pastoral visits outside Italy and 146 within Italy. As Bishop of Rome, he visited 317 of the 333 parishes in the city.
  • Initiated World Youth Day.
  • Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005.

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The Congregation of Holy Cross has five men in various stages of the canonization process. Holy Cross’ first saint is the “Miracle Man of Montreal,” St. Andre Bessette. You can read about St. Andre’s canonization (Oct. 17, 2010) on our website.

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