2 Living Popes Canonize 2 Predecessors

John Paul II and John XXIII canonized in historic ceremony at Vatican
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2014 5:56 AM CDT
2 Living Popes Canonize 2 Predecessors
Pope Francis delivers his blessing during a canonization ceremony in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, April 27, 2014.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

It's a four-pope day at the Vatican, as two living popes gathered for the first time to canonize two of their predecessors: Pope Francis presided today over what the AP notes is really a pretty brief ceremony that confirmed the sainthood of John Paul II and John XXIII. Appearing at Francis' side publicly for the first time was Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, notes the New York Times, as the current pontiff declared, "we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be saints and we enroll them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church."

"Four popes in one ceremony is a fantastic thing to see and to be at, because it is history being written in our sight," says one of the sizable contingent of Polish pilgrims, there to support their countryman John Paul II. "It is wonderful to be a part in this and to live all of this." The BBC has video of the event here. (More Pope Francis stories.)

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