The news was widely expected. Although cardinals and bishops vote on the canonizations, the date is the Pope’s alone to make, in accordance with his calendar and schedule.
Vatican and Rome authorities will now set to work, preparing for what is expected to be an enormous number of pilgrims taking part in the canonizations from all over the world. An estimated 1 million pilgrims filled St. Peter’s Square and surrounding streets for John Paul II’s beatification on May 1, 2011. Even more will be expected next April, also because the joint canonization will attract thousands of devotees of Pope John XXIII, born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. Popularly known as “good Pope John,” the 261st bishop of Rome convened the Second Vatican Council.
Pope Francis said that a joint canonization would be “a message for the Church: These two were wonderful, both of them.” The testimonies of their lives, "completely dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel, shine in the church and reverberate in the history of the world as examples of hope and light," he said.
The decision to canonize the two at the same time appears designed to unify Catholics.
October 21 - 30, 2014,
Orientale Lumen Foundation and Viking Travel are leading a group to:
the LIGHT OF THE EAST Rome & Constantinople Pilgrimage. Where they will travel to celebrate the Canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII.