Wednesday, April 23, 2014


An unprecedented event will take place on Sunday, April 27, when Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will both be canonized by Pope Francis at St. Peter's Basilica.

I am not aware of any other canonization when two contemporary Popes were canonized at the same Liturgy.

The canonization of Pope's in recent centuries is rare.  The two last Popes to be canonized were Pope Pius
V and Pope Pius X:

*  Pope Pius V was in office 1566 to 1572.  He was canonized May 22, 1712.

*  Pope Pius X was in office 1903 to 1914.  He was canonized May 29, 1954--40 years after he died.

It will be a privilege to be at St. Peter's on April 27 to share in the canonization of two contemporary Popes, both of whom had an incredible influence upon the Church in our modern times.  It was Pope John XXIII who called for the Second Vatican Council, and who launched an opening of the doors and windows of the Church in order to allow the Gospel of Jesus to be brought more fully and readily into modern society and culture.

Pope John Paul II became a personal envoy of Jesus Christ as he circled the earth, visiting countries near and far, bringing the Good News of the Gospel to many lands.  Here in Los Angeles, we were privileged to have John Paul II with us a full 48 hours, and 12 major events--including a Mass in the Coliseum, and a second in Dodger Stadium.

May the deep faith and pastoral charity of our two new Pope Saints encourage all of us to a closer discipleship with Jesus!