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Pope opens John Paul II, John XXIII canonisation mass

Published on Apr 27, 2014 4:18 PM
 
Pilgirms attend the canonisation mass of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on St Peter's at the Vatican on April 27, 2014. Pope Francis began an historic ceremony on St Peter's Square on Sunday, April 27, 2014, to confer sainthood on two of his predecessors - John Paul II and John XXIII. -- PHOTO: AFP

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis began an historic ceremony on St Peter's Square on Sunday to confer sainthood on two of his predecessors - John Paul II and John XXIII.

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI was also in attendance as Francis came out on the Vatican piazza in a procession in which cardinals recited the Litany of Saints.

Thousands thronged St Peter's Square - many of them waving flags from John Paul II's homeland, Poland - after spending the night singing, dancing and praying.

Pilgrims attended vigils and camped out in the Eternal City ahead of a ceremony seen as a way of uniting conservative and reformist strands of Catholicism.

 
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