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Pope Francis declares two former Popes saints

Bishops from around the world arrive at St Peters Square in Rome to see the canonisation of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II

Bishops from around the world arrive at St Peters Square in Rome to see the canonisation of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II

Pope Francis has declared his two predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints in an unprecedented canonisation ceremony made even more historic by the presence of retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Francis recited the saint-making formula in Latin, saying that after deliberating, consulting and praying for divine assistance “we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be saints and we enrol them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church”.

Benedict was sitting off to the side with other cardinals in St Peter’s Square during the rite at the start of Sunday’s Mass. He and Francis briefly greeted one another after Francis arrived.

 

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