Former Swiss Guard recalls John Paul II’s love for humanity

Washington D.C., Apr 27, 2014 / 03:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The life of St. John Paul II was characterized by an intense love for both God and the human person, reflected a former member of the Swiss Guard who helped to protect the pontiff. “The best way to say it is that he was the most fully human person I've ever met,” Andreas Widmer told CNA, adding that despite being the Pope, John Paul II was “a normal guy.” “You would have a blast with him,” … [Read more...]

Candle-bearer holds prayers in her heart during canonization

Vatican City, Apr 27, 2014 / 02:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- One young woman's participation in today's canonization liturgy offered a special opportunity for intercessory prayer. Julia Marie Desilets, who was a candle-bearer in the procession of John Paul II's relics, reflected, “I felt like I was carrying more than a candle. It was like carrying many of the devoted to the altar with their intentions, gratitude and love for these popes.” “I felt like I was placing … [Read more...]

Book details collaboration of Roncalli and his Venetian chancellor

Venice, Italy, Apr 27, 2014 / 10:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A book published this month in Italian reveals the collaborative relationship between John XXIII, when he was Patriarch of Venice, and his chancellor at the time, Fr. Sergio Sambin. “Roncalli did not consider Fr. Sambin only a priest whom he met every week because of his capacity in the diocesan curia. He above all deemed him a skilled collaborator, whom he often entrusted with making a bridge between the curia and the … [Read more...]

Polish pilgrims run 1,200 miles to celebrate in Rome

Vatican City, Apr 27, 2014 / 09:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A group of Polish friends decided to run the whole way to Rome to be present for the canonizations of Saints John Paul II and John XXIII, explaining that their key motivation was to give “thanks.” “We don't have any (official) group. We are friends,” Tomasz Pietnerzak told CNA April 27, explaining that when another friend suggested “why don't we run to Vatican? I said ok, we run. Let's … [Read more...]

Pope: Christ’s wounds are sign of God’s love

Vatican City, Apr 27, 2014 / 04:40 am (CNA).- At the canonization Mass for Popes John Paul II and John XXIII on Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of Christ’s suffering as a visible sign of divine love. “The wounds of Jesus are a scandal, a stumbling block for faith, yet they are also the test of faith. That is why on the body of the risen Christ the wounds never pass away: they remain, for those wounds are the enduring sign of God’s love for … [Read more...]

Popes John Paul II, John XXIII officially declared saints

Vatican City, Apr 27, 2014 / 02:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a packed St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis officially declared former pontiffs John Paul II and John XXIII as Saints. “For the honor of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and having sought the counsel of many of our brother Bishops, we declare … [Read more...]

Pilgrims fill Roman churches in vigils before canonizations

Rome, Italy, Apr 26, 2014 / 08:45 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Parishes throughout the city of Rome were filled the evening of April 26 with pilgrims spending the night in prayer in anticipation of the next day’s canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII. More than a dozen churches were open for adoration, Mass, confession, and private prayer, as Catholics from around the world joined locals in the candle-lit parishes, with backpacks and flags by their sides. One Italian pilgrim, … [Read more...]