Yesterday, the whole Catholic community celebrated the canonization of 2 former Popes. In the canonization mass held at St. Peter Square in Vatican City, Rome, Italy, Popes John XXIII and John Paul II were elevated to sainthood after fulfilling the requirements needed for the declaration.
Pope John XXIII is known as the good Pope who initiated the creation of the 2nd Vatical Council. His pontificate was characterized as simple and unconventional having introduced some reforms in the Catholic church. And while he only showed 1 miracle after beatification (Sainthood requires 2 miracles at least), Pope Francis saw it sufficient to declared John XXIII saint because of his contributions to the evolution and progression of the Catholic church.
Pope John Paul II meanwhile is known as the “Rockstar Pope”. His charisma is incomparable not only to the Christian community but also to non-Christians. Having almost 27 years at the helm of Catholicism, John Paul II to my knowledge is the most-loved Pope. He traveled the world to meet people of same and non-same faith. I remember his world youth day 1995 presence, even though we’re just watching on TV, there’s that goosebumps when the camera focuses on him while he went around the crowd inside the Pope mobile. His charisma is really something “un-usual”, indeed saintly.
What’s special about last Sunday’s canonization is the presence of 2 living Popes, Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. This is the 1st time in the history of the Catholic church that 2 popes are in attendance in the canonization rites of their 2 predecessors. It was also a rare event for the Catholic world to see the 2 together after Benedict XVI’s resignation. Two living Popes in the canonization of 2 former Popes, what a historic event indeed for the Catholic Church.