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Two saint Popes, two live Popes

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th June 2014 12:12 PM

April 27, 2014 will always be a memorable day in the life and history of the Catholic Church, and indeed of the whole world. This was the day when two Popes were canonised and two Popes were alive.

April 27, 2014 will always be a memorable day in the life and history of the Catholic Church, and indeed of the whole world. This was the day when two Popes were canonised and two Popes were alive.

trueBy Rev. Fr. Hilary Munyaneza   
 
April 27, 2014 will always be a memorable day in the life and history of the Catholic Church, and indeed of the whole world. This was the day when two Popes were canonised and two Popes were alive.
 
The two canonised Popes were blessed now St. John X111 and blessed now St. John Paul 11.   The two live popes are Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XV1.
 
It was indeed a memorable occasion attracting pilgrims from all over the world.  The city of Rome and its surroundings despite its greatness in size was full to capacity. Among these pilgrims, our nation Uganda was also well represented by a large number of pilgrims.
 
Special to note is that the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese His Grace Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga and the Archbishop of Mbarara Archdiocese His Grace Paul Bakyenga graced the occasion and these were accompanied by several other priests among who were the Chancellor of Kampala Archdiocese Fr. Joseph M. Ssebunnya, Fr. Lawrence Mutikka and others.
 
In the Catholic Church, many wonder what canonising someone as a saint is. This is to officially declare after a long and highly thorough process that the Christian faithful can pray through the intercession of that person and that the life of that person can be emulated as a wonderful example in the Christian way of living, can be included in the public liturgical life of the Church for instance in the Litany of the Saints.  
 
After that process, that person is included in the canon, which is the official list of saints. In the life of St. John XX111, we learn the example of humility. In the life of St. John Paul 11, we learn the Christian virtues of forgiveness, courage and others.
 
In his message, Pope Francis stressed that, “John XXIII and John Paul II were not afraid to look upon the wounds of Jesus, to touch his torn hands and his pierced side.
 
They were not ashamed of the flesh of Christ, they were not scandalised by him, by his cross; they did not despise the flesh of their brother (cf. Is 58:7), because they saw Jesus in every person who suffers and struggles.
 
These were two men of courage, filled with the Holy Spirit, and they bore witness before the Church and the world to God’s goodness and mercy. 
 
They were priests, bishops and popes of the twentieth century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them.
 
For them, God was more powerful; faith was more powerful – faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of man and the Lord of history; the mercy of God, shown by those five wounds, was more powerful; and more powerful too was the closeness of Mary our Mother.”
 
The canonisation of these two saintly popes is a great encouragement in our Catholic life.
 
While some people relegate sainthood to the past centuries of Christianity, the canonisation of these two new saints was a sign and indeed strong evidence that, yes even in our time, we are called upon to live saintly lives.  
 
That yes, it is possible to live in this highly technologised world and still be a saint.
 
The writer is a student in the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome – Italy.

 
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