No Polish Prayers in Canonisation Rites for 2 Former Popes Attended by a Crowd of 800,000

By Vittorio Hernandez
April 28, 2014 5:22 PM EST

No Polish Prayers in Canonisation Rites for 2 Former Popes Attended by a Crowd of 800,000

For around three hours on Sunday, the Catholic world stopped and just focused on the three-hour canonisation rite for two former popes, attended by the current pope and his immediate predecessor.

Although the crowds at the Vatican City has grown noticeably bigger since Pope Francis became pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church in March 2013, the record estimated 800,000 pilgrims filled St Peter's Square and nearby streets early Sunday morning to be present for the declaration of Pope John Paul II and Pope john XXIII as saints.

About 500,000 of the crowd were spread throughout the Holy See, while another 300,000 watched on giant screens set up throughout Rome.

In the run-up to the canonisation rites attended by the mammoth crowd, 150 cardinals, 700 bishops, 24 heads of states and 93 official delegations, all-night prayer vigils were heard and the sacrament of Confession was made available for pilgrims at 11 churches in Rome.

The star of the rite were The Great Pope John Paul II - born Karol Wojtyla - the second-longest reigning pontiff in the Catholic church's history, serving for more than 26 years, and the Good Pope John XXIII, who despite his short reign of more than 4 years, initiated the modernization of the church.

Ironically, the Mass and canonisation rite, in part said in Latin and Italian, did not have Polish prayers in the Prayer of the Faithful after the homily, even if Pope John Paul II was Polish and was instrumental in the downfall of communism in his native land, noted the TV commentator.

In fact, a large number of the pilgrims were from Poland, waving Polish flags during the Mass and the canonisation ceremony beamed worldwide by Catholic TV station EWTN and other media companies.

Describing the two new saints in his homily, Pope Francs said, "They were priests, bishops and popes of the 20th century. They lived through the traffic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them."

As required by Church protocol and part of the canonisation ceremony, Pope Francis was asked thrice if the two popes should be saints, and he replied, reading the Latin canonisation text: "We declare and define John XXIII and John Paul II to be saints and we enroll them among the saints decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church."

Also present in the rites was Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who became pope after the death of Pope John Paul II and quit in February 2013 that paved the way for the election of the Buenos Aires Cardinal Mario Jorge Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis.

Read also:

Crucifix Dedicated to Pope John Paul II Crashes to Death Italian Man Posing for Souvenir Photo

A Tale of Two Saints: Popes John Paul II & John XXIII

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