The Church’s Two New Saints

Two PopesThis past Sunday the world watched as John XXIII, frequently referred to as the “Good Pope”, and John Paul II, the first truly global Pope, were declared saints of the Church.

Pope Francis was joined by retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the altar, marking the first time a reigning Pope and a retired Pope have celebrated Mass together in public in the Church’s 2,000 year history. That wasn’t the only piece of history that was made – so too was the fact that never before has the Church held a ceremony in which two popes were declared saints.

In his homily, Pope Francis offered each saint heartfelt praise saying John XXIII allowed himself to be led by God to call the Second Vatican Council, and hailing John Paul II’s focus on the family. “They were priests, bishops and Popes of the 20th century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them.” Pope Francis went on to say that “John XXIII and John Paul II cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the Church in keeping with her pristine features, those features which the saints have given her throughout the centuries.”

If you had the opportunity to watch the canonization on television, you might have noticed that during the ceremony, Pope Francis took a deep breath and paused for a moment before reciting the saint-making formula in Latin, as if moved by the history he was about to make in canonizing these two holy men. As soon as he declared them saints, applause broke out from the crowd in Saint Peter’s Square and beyond.

The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, page 106, tells us, “When we read the lives of the saints, their teachings and writings, we can be motivated to holiness by their example which was shaped by the Holy Spirit.” In the coming weeks, I encourage you to read more about these two new modern day saints who have heavily influenced the Catholic Church as we know it today. One website that you may want to check out is “Our Sunday Visitor”  you will find some great articles there this week on these new saints.

Do you best to make the following prayer, taken from the Christopher News Notes, your own in the days ahead . . .

“Lord, we thank you for the holy examples of Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II. Through their intercession, may we be led ever deeper into the fullness of your love, so that we can reflect that love to all Your children here on earth, and eventually be united with You and all the saints in heaven. Amen.”

Question – What one quality or characteristic of Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II would you like to integrate into your daily life?

April 30th, 2014 |