Sunday Apr. 24th 2014, John XXIII (Papa Giovanni XXIII) and John Paul II (Papa Giovanni Paolo II) were canonized by Pope Francis (Papa Francesco) during a once-in-a-life ceremony, witnessed also by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Papa Benedetto XVI), the first Pope who resigned from the papacy.
It has really been a historical day, one of the biggest events of the last years for Rome and Italy as well: two living Popes at a ceremony for canonizing two former pontiffs on the same day. All that obviously summoned more than one million of faithfuls both at St. Peter’s square and at all the streets around the Vatican. All these people came to Rome to enjoy the ceremony and to visit one of the most beautiful places in the world, Rome and the Vatican, by booking their accommodation so long in advance. Millions more had the chance to assist to the ceremony on their TV’s or on the giant screens spread all over the world.
Being popular and loved in life for their efforts to reach out to ordinary people is the most evident aspect that the former pontiffs have in common with Pope Francis.
In a different, personalized way, indeed, both John XIII and John Paul II renewed and strengthen the Church, a mission that also Pope Francis himself has been pursuing since his election.
Pope Francis is so well-intentioned to carry on also his personal plan to highlight the importance of those people whose heart had been filled by the Holy Spirit by the gift of fortitude; those whom he calls “Christians who are the hidden Saints among us” and following this inspiration, he has recently approved the promulgation of the decree for the cause of beatification of Pope Paul VI, whose beatification ceremony is now scheduled to take place on October 19, 2014, just at the end of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the family.
This is a new event which will bring lots of people come to Rome for their holidays in the next months, enjoying the so convenient accommodation, both at the regular hotels and, mainly at the religious guesthouses and monastery in Rome and Italy which can now easily be booked on-line.