Double Canonization set to make History

It’s no secret that Pope John Paul II is to be canonized in St Peter’s Square this spring, on April 27th in fact, the day in which Catholics celebrate the Divine Mercy and the second Sunday of Easter. Now, however, we can witness not one but two canonizations, as both Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be declared saints together – a ground- breaking ceremony and the first dual canonization in history. As Rome is usually a place of pilgrimage, with thousands flocking to Saint Peter’s Basilica every year, all year round, numbers of visitors to the capital are expected to soar as the event will draw in the masses from around the globe. For these two powerful symbols of the Roman Catholic Church to be canonized in a society where saints are a thing of the past, thought of as legends and heroes, it is the turning of a new leaf to celebrate Popes that have influenced people of today's world and have revolutionized today’s church as it stands. The ceremony, held in St Peter’s Square, the centre of the Catholic Church, is to celebrate the achievements of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII and sanctify them as modern day magnates. Previously, the (unwritten) rules of becoming a saint were you had to have produced two miracles, yet, a(nother) slight break in tradition means that Pope John XXIII only has one official miracle to his name; Pope John II has two. It’s believed that around 3 million people are to descend on the capital over the weekend of the 26th-27th April to witness this historic event, drawing not only pilgrims and faithful followers, but also 19 heads of state and 24 prime ministers. If you are in the capital over this weekend, please check ATAC for travel updates and plan your journeys in advance. Be aware that the capital will be much busier than usual. The OMNIA Vatican & Rome Card is made up of the Roma Pass which acts as your three day travelcard.

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