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John Paul II/ John XXIII

John XXIII “Tonight when you go home, caress your children and tell them it’s a caress from the Pope.”

Sinners like the rest of us they had secrets, cut deals, made enemies and played political favorites.”

Pope Francis declared his two predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints on Sunday before hundreds of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, an unprecedented ceremony made even more historic by the presence of retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Never before has a reigning and retired pope celebrated Mass together in public, much less at an event honoring two of their most famous predecessors.

During his quarter-century papacy from 1978-2005, John Paul II helped topple communism through his support of Poland’s Solidarity movement. His globe-trotting papacy and launch of the wildly popular World Youth Days invigorated a new generation of Catholics, while his defense of core church teaching heartened conservatives after the turbulent 1960’s.