Monday, 28 April 2014

The Day of the Four Popes

"We declare and define blessed John XXIII and John Paul II to be saints and we enrol them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church." 

Aerial view of the vast crowd in and around Saint Peter's Square.

It is very unlikely that any reader of this Blog failed to observe, in one manner or another, the remarkable and historic occasion when the sanctity of two great Popes of the twentieth century was formally recognised by the Church. The previous Papal canonisation was in May 1954, when Pope Pius XII made the same declaration concerning his predecessor, Saint Pius X. 

Pope Benedict entering the Square
before the beginning of Mass.
The crowd of the Faithful was so large it stretched back along all the Via della Conciliazione and onto the adjacent bridges which span the Tiber. Approximately the same number of people - one million - thronged Rome in 1954.

The Occasion was also memorable in that a former Pope - Benedict XVI - concelebrated with his Successor: never before in the history of Holy Mother Church.

We are pleased to present some photographs of this historic Mass, the occasion of many Graces.

Photographs in the collections of Getty Images, Spaziani, Reuters.

The Incensation.

The Greek deacon kissing the Fisherman's Ring.

At the Offertory.

Before and after Mass, Pope Benedict was greeted by his Successor.

Leaving the Square quietly after the Mass, Pope Benedict was
cheered by Representatives of other Religions and other Christian denominations.