Pope to unveil sainthood date for John Paul II, John XXIII
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis was on Monday set to announce the date that predecessors John Paul II and John XXIII will be made saints in a ceremony expected to draw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims.
The popular Polish pope John Paul and his Italian predecessor, two of modern-day Catholicism's most influential figures, will be canonised at a joint ceremony at the Vatican likely to take place on April 27, 2014.
The unprecedented double sainthood for two popes is seen by Vatican watchers as an attempt to breach a traditional left-right divide in the Church.
"John XXIII is generally a hero to the church's progressive wing while John Paul II is typically lionised by Catholic conservatives," said John Allen, Vatican expert for the US National Catholic Reporter.