Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Two Saintly Popes

This coming Sunday is a historic day for the Catholic Church as two recent Popes will be elevated to Sainthood. Over the next 4 days I will review their lives and their Papacies, which anyone 60 years and older remembers so well, especially the long pontificate of Blessed John Paul II. However Blessed John XXIII also left his imprint on the church by convening the Second Vatican Council. As the church canonizes these two saintly Popes, we honor a tradition that is rich in history, but devoid of papal Saints over the last 700 years.
In fact, since the 13th Century, only two Popes have been elevated to Sainthood. Since Pope St. Celestine, who was Pope in 1294, only Pope Pius V and Pope Pius X have been canonized—Pius V reigning as Pope between 1566 and 1572, and Pius X reigning around 100 years ago between 1903 and 1914, until he died on August 20th.
And now we will have two more Saintly Popes—Pope St. John XXIII, who reigned between 1958 and 1963, and Pope St. John Paul II, who reigned between 1978 and 2005. Because I remember both Popes—the first one during my childhood years and the second in my priestly years—I can share some insights into how they not only influenced the Church, but also the entire world.

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