Papal canonizations to be a spiritual event, cardinal stresses

Bl. John Paul II and Bl. John XXIII, who will be canonized April 27.

At a Monday news conference detailing preparations for the canonization of Bl. John Paul II and Bl. John XXIII, the Holy See announced initiatives designed to help the Church live the event in a spiritual way.

“This is a spiritual event … not just a worldly happening. It is a feast of holiness,” Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of the Diocese of Rome, said March 31 of the Holy See’s preparations for the April canonization of the two late Bishops of Rome.

Announced by Pope Francis in September, the canonizations will take place April 27, Divine Mercy Sunday.

Cardinal Vallini expressed that although we might be used to hearing about saints, these two men are “Bishop Popes,” underlining the need to place a special emphasis on their relationship with the Church, given its profundity.

What links the two men together, he observed, is their faith; he noted they were both models of Christian life and faith, and that in the light of this faith they lived their lives in light of “a goal.”

Rather than “busying” themselves with too many events, the cardinal explained that for this event the Diocese of Rome isn’t doing “a lot,” so that the people will be allowed to truly live in the moment, and follow the path of a deeper spirituality.

Yet among the activities slated to occur, Msgr. Walter Insero revealed there are two key events which will take place the final days leading up to the Mass of Canonization.

Msgr. Insero, who oversees the Diocese of Rome’s communications office, said the first event to take place will be an April 22 gathering for youth on at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.

Beginning at 8:30 p.m., both Msgr. Slawomir Oder, postulator for Bl. John Paul II’s cause of canonization, and Fr. Giovangiuseppe Califano, OFM, postulator for Bl. John XXIII’s cause, will be present, along with Cardinal Vallini.

And April 26, there will be an all-night prayer vigil during which 11 parishes in the center of Rome will be open with the possibility to pray and to receive Confession in various languages.

Both biblical passages as well as writings from the new saints will be read during the vigil, the communications officer explained.

In addition to these activities, there are also large efforts being made on social media in order to help prepare, with pages for the two blesseds on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify, as well as an official website and smartphone application.

Also present at the news conference was Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, who explained that the Canonization Mass will begin with the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, followed by the reading of passages from both Popes on mercy.

The Mass will take place at St. Peter’s Square and will be free of charge with no tickets required, he continued, noting that both the French nun and the Costa Rican woman who received the miracles needed in order to move forward with the canonizations will be present.

Following the Mass, St. Peter’s Basilica will be open for pilgrims and faithful who want to venerate the saints’ bodies, and the next day there will be a Mass of Thanksgiving in St. Peter’s Square, said by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Regarding the number of pilgrims expected to participate in the event, Fr. Lombardi stated he had no idea, though “it will be a lot.”

He added that while it is uncertain, Benedict XVI will likely attend the canonization.

On a final note, Cardinal Vallini expressed that this event is not only for believers, but also for non-believers, because “God loves everyone.”


Voices

Seeking the face of God in the Scriptures

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Prayer is seeking the face of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls the story of how St. John Vianney once found a peasant praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The saint asked him what he was doing, and the man replied: “I look at him and he looks at me.”

Events

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February 13, 2016

  • Saturday, February 13

    World Day of the Sick Mass, Mass and Anointing of the Sick, 12:30 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,  555 W Temple St, Los Angeles. Archbishop Gomez presiding with other bishops and priests. Special section designated for those in wheelchairs with volunteers available to help. Limited parking available for $8. Carpooling is encouraged. For more info: Chuck Huebner at cjhuebner @gmail.com or Jim LoCoco at flavialococ0@msn.com.

     

     

    Bosco Tech’s Yurak Memorial Run & Kids’ Fun Run, Check in begins at 8 a.m., Memorial Run at 9 a.m., Fun Run at 10 a.m., Bosco Tech, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead. Race registration is $35 per person. For school groups of 10 or more, the cost is $30. To register online, go to www.boscotech.edu/events or www.yurak.eventbrite.com; same-day registration available at check-in table. Included: racing fees, finisher medal, goodie bag and BBQ lunch. Plaques will be awarded to the top five male and female runners and to the fastest runner under 18.All proceeds to benefit Bosco Tech’s Yurak Athletic Center (YAC). 

     

    Cabrini Literary Guild “Sweetheart Bingo” Meeting, Sat., Feb.13 at Oakmont Country Club, 3100 Country Club Drive, Glendale. Meeting starts at 11 a.m., lunch at 12 p.m. ($30/person), and bingo social at 1 p.m. Bingo cards are $5 each, or $20 for five cards. For reservations, call (818) 790-3485.

     

    Footprints: Making Tracks for Neighbors in Need, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., Bishop Amat High School track, 14301 Fairgrove Ave., La Puente. Catholic Charities San Gabriel Region will present this annual walk/run fundraiser to increase awareness about poverty, hunger and homelessness in the San Gabriel Region. Proceeds benefit those lacking basic needs, such as food, clothing, transportation and shelter. This is a come anytime, leave anytime event, with the first lap around the track to be led by Bishop David O'Connell. For more information, visit lentenfootprints.yolasite.com or contact Mary Romero at (213) 251-3582 or mromero@ccharities.org.

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