Cardinal Agostino Vallini
VATICAN CITY — At a news conference detailing preparations for the canonization of Blessed John Paul II and Blessed 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 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 that 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 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.
set for April 26
All are welcome as the Diocese of Oakland joins in the celebration of the canonization of Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul II.
The Most Rev. Michael C. Barber, SJ, bishop of Oakland, will celebrate the Solemn Mass and Te Deum in Thanksgiving for the canonization of the two popes at 5:30 p.m. April 26, the eve of the canonization in Rome, at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland.
The Mass will include a solemn choral rendition by the Cathedral Choir of the Te Deum, a hymn of praise and thanksgiving to God that is traditionally sung on momentous occasions. Music for this special Mass will also include a setting of Regina Coeli Laetare (Queen of Heaven, Rejoice) by Palestrina, and Los Angeles composer Ola Gjeilo's setting of Ubi Caritas.
The Polish community of the diocese will provide a reception following the Mass.
The Vatican will livestream the event at 1 a.m. Pacific time at Vatican.va/video.
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Msgr. Walter Insero, who oversees the Diocese of Rome's communications office, said there will be an all-night prayer vigil April 26, during which 11 parishes in the center of Rome will be open with the possibility for the faithful 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 March 31 news conference was Vatican spokesman Father 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 in St. Peter's Square, with no tickets required. He noted that both the French nun and the Costa Rican woman who received the miracles needed to move forward with John Paul's canonization will be present.
Following the Mass, St. Peter's Basilica will be open for pilgrims 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.
While it is uncertain, Benedict XVI will likely attend the canonization.
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