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Pope Francis

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Vatican

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John Paul II and John XXIII, future saints with lots of character and humor

2014-04-22

The countdown is on for one of the most awaited moments in the modern history of the Church: the canonization of two Popes, John Paul II and John XXIII.

During this week, the Vatican set up special events featuring speakers that knew the future saints. To help communicate details on their lives, the Vatican even assembled a new team, adding Mexican-American priest Manuel Dorantes to translate for English and Spanish speaking journalists.

On Tuesday, the postulators for the sainthood causes of both Popes talked about why these two figures are role models for all Christians. They also gave insight on their personalities.

FR. GIOVANGIUSEPPE CALIFANO
Postulator, Sainthood Cause of John XXIII
"There's this anecdote of a bishop that confided in John XXIII and told him: 'Since I was elected bishop, I can't sleep. I have too many thoughts.' John XXIII responded: 'I truly felt that way when I was elected Pope. I had so many thoughts. One night, I had a dream of the Guardian Angel and he told me: 'Angelo, don't take yourself too seriously.' Since then, I have slept very well.'”

FR. SLAWOMIR ODER
Postulator, Sainthood Cause of John Paul II
"One time, when John Paul was tired, one of the sisters who looked after him said: 'Holy Father, I'm worried about Your Holiness.' And he responded: 'I am also very worried about my holiness.'”

The postulators talked about their faults and virtues, showing that reaching holiness was not utopian.

Both Popes will be canonized on Sunday's feast of Divine Mercy, a celebration John Paul II established. But both their lives showed God's mercy was important in their lives.

FR. GIOVANGIUSEPPE CALIFANO
Postulator, Sainthood Cause of John XXIII
"Everything will take place on the Sunday of Divine Mercy. I think that the root of both Popes' spirituality is precisely this will to highlight God's kindness and mercy.”

Not only did God's mercy play a big role in the lives of these two saints, it also does for Pope Francis. In fact, he has even "prescribed” it, in the form of Misericordina.


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