Sunday April 20th. 2014                                                                                        Charity registration No. SC 002876

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St. Margaret's,                        St. Joseph's,                        St. Finnan's

Canonisation of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II

in Rome this Sunday, April 27th.

Pope Francis will proclaim Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul II saints at a canonisation ceremony today at St. Peter’s when anything between  2 -7 millions people are expected to attend.

Both these popes have left their mark, not only on the Church but on the world. The Times magazine has had each of these popes on its front page as the most important men of their era, and Pope Francis was also given the same honour only recently. But it is not because of their popularity before the people that makes them important, but what they were before Almighty God—devout, holy men who consecrated their entire lives to serving God and the people. We know something of the spirituality of Pope John from his book The Journey of a Soul. His parents were just ordinary people, with a farming background, but devout, very devout.

He never lost the common touch.

Pope John Paul was brought up as a youth behind the Iron Curtain where he has was set to work  in a quarry by the communists, but managed to study secretly in the crypt of the church in the evenings to prepare himself for the priesthood, He was also a very good poet and dramatist.

As Pope, he would often spend the whole night in prayer. Both these popes shunned the ivory tower of  their office, and brought their own charisma to the Church and to the world.

.Pope John saw that the Church had to be brought into the real world and the Second Vatican Council which he initiated was like a breath of the Holy Spirit at a new Pentecost blowing through the Church.

Pope John Paul assured that the wishes of Pope John were carried out, sometimes against the opposition of traditionalists.  He used his power of drama to communicate himself to the world with great effect when he visited over 60 nations worldwide. One of his great triumphs was the important part he played in the fall of communism and the Berlin wall. His visit to Poland was the final straw against Russia’s dictatorship over his country when millions of people attend the papal Mass inspite of the efforts of the communists to suppress it.

Both popes were acclaimed by the Jewish nation as the popes who had done most to heal the maltreatment of the Jewish people by the Church down the centuries

They are held up to us to imitate as models of holiness who found their fulfilment in serving God and his people

Saints John XXIII and John Paul II, pray for us.