Just half an hour after the cardinal consistory began, Pope Francis announced the date whenJohn Paul II and John XXIII will be declared saints. Both will be canonized on April 27th, 2014, which marks the Day of Divine Mercy.
"It's with great joy and bliss my dear brothers, and judging that all the Church can venerate the Blessed John Paul II and JohnXXIII, that under the authority of God Almighty and that of St. Peter and St. Paul, I have decided that John XXIII and John Paul II, on the 27th of April, will be incorporated to the family of saints.”
Rumors of this canonization date have been heard for months. In fact Pope Francis talked about this date on his flight back from Rio, Brazil. It was during an improvised press conference that he said the best moment for Polish pilgrims to travel to Rome would be in April. December he said, was too problematic because of the winter.
The canonization ceremony will indeed be historic and it could break records. The beatification of John Paul II in 2011 was attended by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims. Even more people are expected now that John XXIII, known as the "Good Pope” will also be declared a Saint. It was John XXIII who opened the Second Vatican Council.
Both Popes lived in the second half of the 20th Century and they were both extremely popular during their pontificates. The Vatican and Italy's transportation system will have to coordinate this massive event.
The Pope agreed to canonize John Paul II after a Costa Rican woman, Floribeth Mora, was cured of a cerebral aneurism thanks to his intercession. John XXIIIs process was different: Pope Francis agreed to canonize him without a second documented miracle, which is usually a requirement.
April 27th is a symbolic day. It marks the second Easter Sunday and the day of Divine Mercy. In fact John Paul II started this feast day and he passed away on the very day it was celebrated by the Church back in 2005.