Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cool: 2 New Saints

Right now, as I write, 2 new saints will be canonized by the Catholic Church.
From Fox News: Hundreds of thousands of people filled St. Peter's Square Sunday for a historic day of four popes, with Francis and Benedict XVI honoring their predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II and declaring them saints in the first ever canonization of two pontiffs.
Polish pilgrims carrying the red and white flags of John Paul's beloved homeland were among the first to push into the square well before sunrise, as the human chains of neon-vested civil protection workers trying to maintain order finally gave up and let them in.
Italy's interior ministry predicted 1 million  would watch the Mass from the square, the streets surrounding it and nearby piazzas where giant TV screens were set up to accommodate the crowds eager to follow along.
"Four popes in one ceremony is a fantastic thing to see and to be at, because it is history being written in our sight," marveled one of the visiting Poles, David Halfar. "It is wonderful to be a part in this and to live all of this."
Most of those who arrived first at St. Peter's had camped out overnight nearby on air mattresses and sleeping pads. Others hadn't slept at all and took part in the all-night prayer vigils hosted at a dozen churches in downtown Rome.
By mid-morning, the scene in the square was quiet and subdued -- perhaps due to the chilly gray skies and cumulative lack of sleep -- unlike the rollicking party atmosphere of John Paul's May 2011 beatification when bands of young people sang and danced in the hours before the Mass.
To my memory, I don't recall a Saint who was alive, died and canonized in my lifetime.  In this case, both Popes were alive when I was but I don't remember Pope John XXIII.
I imagine that today in Poland is or will be a national holiday in honor of Pope John Paul 2.
I'm going to watch some of the mass, if only to see the pageantry.
If you want to see the ceremony, go to EWTN, the Catholic cable channel.

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