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Aparecida: Brazil's most revered Catholic pilgrimage site

The Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, which Pope Francis will visit next week, is the top pilgrimage site in Brazil, the world's largest Catholic country. Halfway between Sao Paulo and Rio, the shrine houses a famous 18th-century clay statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the traditional form of the Immaculate Conception.

World Youth Day: A tradition inspired by John Paul II

The World Youth Day (WYD) events Pope Francis will attend in Brazil later this month are a tradition started by the John Paul II during his charismatic papacy. "You are the future of the world and the hope for the Church," his Polish predecessor, who is soon to be declared a saint, told young Catholics at the dawn of his papacy in 1978. The first official WYD was held in 1986, although it had been preceded by two previous mass gatherings of young people from around the world in Rome.

Vatican approves sainthood for John Paul II, John XXIII

Pope Francis has given the go-ahead for John Paul II to be made a saint and granted a rare exception for the canonisation of another predecessor John XXIII, who had the same reformist views and personal touch as the current pontiff. The announcements on Friday marked a historic day at the Vatican, which also issued an unprecedented text co-written by Francis and his living predecessor Benedict XVI in which the two popes said faith was a "common good" and called for dialogue with non-believers.

Pope Francis approves sainthood for John Paul II

Vatican City, Jul 5 (EFE).- Pope Francis has given final approval to the canonization of two of his predecessors, John Paul II and John XXIII, the Vatican said Friday. The pontiff recognized the validity of a second miracle attributed to John Paul, a prerequisite for sainthood. In the case of John XXIII, however, Francis invoked his authority to waive the requirement of a second miracle and allow the canonization to proceed without it.

Popes John Paul II, John XXIII to be made saints

Pope Francis gave the go-ahead on Friday for his late predecessor John Paul II to be made saint by the end of the year and granted a rare exception for John XXIII to be canonised at the same time. The Vatican said Francis gave his widely expected formal approval to a second miracle attributed to John Paul II at a meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Details of the supposed miracle have not been revealed.

Poland welcomes sainthood of native pope John Paul II

Poland welcomed with joy Friday the decision by Pope Francis to make former Polish pontiff Jean Paul II a saint, as well as another predecessor John XXIII. "We are happy, because we have a concrete document, a decree signed today by the Holy Father which officially recognises the miracle due to the intercession of John Paul II," secretary for the Polish episcopate Wojciech Polak told the PAP news agency. Father Jozef Kloch, spokesman for the episcopate, described the news as "an immense joy", speaking on public radio.

Popes John Paul II, John XXIII to be made saints: Vatican

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The late Pope John Paul II will be made a saint, the Vatican said on Friday, announcing that Pope Francis had approved a second miracle attributed to the Polish pontiff, who led the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005. The Vatican said Pope John XXIII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963 and called the Second Vatican Council - which enacted sweeping reforms to modernize the Church - would also be made a saint.

Vatican announces sainthood for John Paul II, John XXIII

Pope Francis gave the go-ahead on Friday for John Paul II to be made saint and granted a rare exception for canonisation at the same time for John XXIII, who shares the current pontiff's reformist views and personal touch. The announcement marked a historic day at the Vatican, which also issued an unprecedented text co-written by Francis and his living predecessor Benedict XVI in which the two popes said faith was a "common good" and called for dialogue with non-believers.

John XXIII: Reformist pope to become saint

Pope John XXIII, who the Vatican said on Friday will be made a saint by the end of the year, surprised many by leading the Catholic Church to more open relations with other faiths and the world at large. When "Good Pope John" became head of the Catholic Church on October 28, 1958 at the age of 77, many thought he would be a simple caretaker. He had a determined and progressive character, however, inviting comparisons by Vatican watchers to the apparently reform-minded Pope Francis.

John Paul II: Poland's soon-to-be new saint

Pope John Paul II, who the Vatican said on Friday will be made a saint, was an inspirational figure who helped topple communism but alienated many Catholics with his conservative views. The first non-Italian pope in more than 400 years, and the first from eastern Europe, Polish-born Karol Wojtyla was immensely popular, eschewing the pomp that surrounded his predecessors and seeking contact with ordinary people.
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