Today in Rome, a unique and significant event is taking place, on the occasion of which more than 800 thousand pilgrims from all over the world arrived in the Eternal City. On the day of the Resurrection of Divine Mercy, Pope Francis in the presence of hundreds of thousands of believers in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican ranked two pontiffs as saints: John XXIII and John Paul II.
The authorities of the capital of Italy began to prepare for a large-scale holiday long before this day. Today, many streets are closed for traffic, the sky above the city is closed for flights, and the metro operates around the clock. The safety of residents and guests of the Eternal City is provided by thousands of police officers, and more than 2.5 thousand volunteers undertook the organization of canonization. The city authorities provided more than 4 million bottles of water and 140 thousand liturgical booklets. The present believers watched what was happening on 18 huge screens installed throughout the city, and those who couldn’t get to Rome watched the ceremony on TV, as well as online. Our editors also visited this event, a photo report from which you can see here.
The canonization of the two former pontiffs took place after night services in St. Peter's Basilica, as well as in a number of other churches, during which the faithful not only read prayers and confessed in several languages, but also worshiped the holy gifts, and also visited the exhibition of personal belongings of the canonized Popes.
The decision to build two of his predecessors in the face of saints was made by the current Pope Francis during the Vatican Consistory. He insisted on the date of the ceremony, which was previously scheduled for September 30, 2013. Francis explained that the decision to reschedule this event was dictated by bad weather in the fall, which could prevent thousands of pilgrims traveling from the most remote corners of the Earth from arriving at the Vatican.
For canonization, bases are always required. This year was no exception: a special commission was created to study the life paths of John XXIII and John Paul II, later recognizing that both pontiffs actually performed miracles and therefore deserve to be counted as saints.
What did John XXII remember
Former Catholic Patriarch of Venice Angelo Giuseppe Roncali (Angelo Giuseppe Roncali), who, when ascending the Holy See, chose the name John XXIII, was considered the "transitional" pope, who was elected due to difficulties in finding a successor Pius XII. However, no one could have imagined that the interim Pope would radically change the entire Catholic system. John XXIII was born in 1881 in a family of believing peasants in the province of Bergamo. The head of the Catholic Church violated the unspoken rule of his predecessors to keep a certain distance from ordinary believers, he tried with all his might to enter into a full-fledged dialogue with the Catholics and even convened the Second Vatican Council, which opened in Rome on October 11, 1962, in order to renew the whole institution of the church and discuss all the rules of its existence and activities in the world. It was John XXIII who first called for cooperation of all representatives of other Christian faiths, which radically changed the fate of the Catholic Church.
Miracle of John XXIII
It is worth noting that in order to be counted among the saints, the Pope must perform two miracles, but the case of John XXIII is considered almost unprecedented: after all, the former pontiff only once performed a miracle: in 1966 he cured a nun of a serious stomach disease. As a relative of the healed nun Caterina Capitani recalled, doctors found Sister Katerina’s illness when she was in critical condition. The twenty-three-year-old clergywoman of the Catholic Church unsuccessfully underwent about 14 operations and was between life and death. When her friends stopped by to see the patient, they brought her a portrait of Pope John XXIII.
And a few days later the nun had a dream:
“I saw Pope John standing by my bed in his papal robes. I looked at his smiling face, and he said to me: “You prayed as much as your sisters did. Now everything is behind, everything will be all right with you. ”
And it was at that moment that Sister Katerina woke up and immediately realized that she was healed. As eyewitnesses recall, the nun blossomed before her eyes, her complexion changed. Soon Katerina said that she was hungry, which in itself was surprising in this kind of disease. “Pope John told me that I was healed,” the nun told her sisters.
Pope John XXIII died in June 1963 and was recognized as Blessed John Paul II on September 3, 200. Despite the fact that the pontiff “lacks” miracles, Pope Francis decided to rank him as a saint for his special contribution to the development of the Catholic Church.
What did John Paul II remember
Unlike John XXIII, John Paul II (before the papacy Karol Jozef Wojtyla) before he headed the Holy See was not a very famous figure. The Cardinals of the Vatican knew little about him, not to mention the believers, who were somewhat surprised at his election and could not say anything about the new Pope.
But soon the energetic pontiff forced to talk about himself. His hallmark was the ability to inspire believers outside the church.
The charismatic Pope regularly went on trips, met new people and tried to bring the maximum benefit to the church, for which he received the nickname "His Haste." John Paul II advocated social reform, in full criticism of the consumer society. The pontiff always turned his eyes to the future, paying great attention to youth. In 1984, it was on his initiative that Italy hosted the first World Youth Day.
Pope John Paul II passed away on April 2, 2005, after several decades of unbearable pain due to the wound he received during the 1981 terrorist attack. In the last hours of the pontiff's life, believers from all over the world prayed for his soul, and after Pope John departed to another world, Catholics demanded an immediate canonization.
It is worth noting that, as a rule, from the time of the death of canonization and until it is considered a saint, an average of 50-100 years pass, so the case of John Paul II can be safely called unique in the history of the Catholic Church.
Miracles of John Paul II
On the account of this pontiff there is the number of miracles performed by him necessary for canonization, which, by the way, happened after his death. The first of them happened back in 2005, when John Paul II healed a French nun from Parkinson's disease.
Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre (Marie-Simon-Pierre) claims that she miraculously recovered from a terrible disease as soon as she wrote on paper the name of John Paul II.
According to the nun, in 2005 her condition worsened so much that she decided to leave the church to rest. She made this decision two months after the death of the pontiff. When Mary began to settle all the formalities, one sister urged her not to lose hope and advised her to write on paper the name of John Paul II, so that he would give her strength. “I didn’t want to write anything with her, because it is given to me with difficulty, especially when someone is watching me. But I still wrote. The inscription was almost illegible, ”the nun recalls. But later she felt the need to write further, surprised to note that this process no longer brings her any inconvenience, and that all the letters displayed to her can be easily read. In the morning, Mary felt, instead of the usual malaise and pain, a certain surge of strength. “My body has changed. And I realized that I was cured. "
The second miracle happened when the already dead Pope miraculously healed a woman from Costa Rica who suffered from an aneurysm of the brain.
Three years ago, Floribeth Mora Diaz heard terrible words from doctors: she is terminally ill, and her demise is just a matter of time. A partially paralyzed woman was treated at home. And on May 1, 2011, a magazine with photographs of John Paul II fell into her hands, his image instantly appeared before her eyes.
Coincidence or not, but it was on this day in the Vatican that the beatification of the pontiff took place. "Floribet, get up, what are you doing here? Why don't you go to the kitchen with your husband? ”The sick woman asked her vision. “And I replied that now I feel great, and I'm going, I'm going,” Floribet recalls, confidently stating that the next day she was completely healed. She immediately turned to the doctors, who were simply shocked: the woman was absolutely healthy. Today Floribet was an honored guest on the canonization of the pontiff, to whom she owes her life.
The solemn ceremony of the Ascension of the Holy Two Popes was held by the current heir to the Holy See, Francis. A unique event was also attended by Benedict XVI, who abdicated the Holy See last year. On the occasion of the celebration, delegations from 122 countries, 24 heads of state and representatives of the royal families arrived in Rome. It is estimated that about 2 billion people watched the canonization ceremony of John Paul II and John XXIII.