Filipinos looking forward to canonization of 2 popes
Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII are set to be proclaimed saints on Sunday, April 27

SAINTS SOON. Popes John Paul II (right) and John XXIII (left), will soon become saints of the Catholic Church

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines, where at least 80% of the population are Roman Catholics, welcomes the sainthood of two popes who will be canonized on Sunday, April 27.

Pope Francis will proclaim the sainthood of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II at the Vatican City in Rome.

“Popes John XXIII…opened the windows of the Church to the modern era and John Paul II…proclaimed the Gospel so fearlessly to tyrants and embraced the world,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte over radio station dzRB on Saturday, April 26.

Pope John XXIII named the first Filipino cardinal, Rufino Cardinal Santos, while the visit of John Paul II to the Philippines in 1981 “precipitated the official end of Martial Law,” added Valte.

John Paul’s visit in 1995 for World Youth Day was also unforgettable for many Filipinos who loved the pope. 

The Vatican has been preparing for an enormous number of pilgrims from all over the world expected to witness the canonization of the two popes.

Around a million pilgrims were estimated to have filled up St Peter’s Square and adjacent streets when Pope John Paul II was beatified on May 1, 2011. More are expected to attend his canonization.

Swelling their numbers are the thousands of devotees of Pope John XXIII, born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, who was pope from 1958 to 1963. He was fondly called “Good Pope John” and is famous for having convened the Second Vatican Council.

Required miracles

It takes two miracles to become a saint.

The first miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II was the inexplicable curing of a French nun who had Parkinson’s disease. This led to the pope’s beatification. The second miracle was the curing of a Costa Rican woman of cerebral aneurysm the very day of John Paul II’s beatification.

Blessed John XXIII was beatified in August 2000 after what was considered a miraculous recovery of an Italian nun who had undergone an operation to remove a cancerous tumor from her stomach.

The ailing nun had prayed to Pope John XXIII, who had died 3 years earlier. With no medical explanation, she began getting better.

In a rare move, Pope Francis waived the requirement of a second miracle. –

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