The Church celebrates the 2nd Anniversary of the Canonizations of Sts. Pope John Paul II and Pope John XIII – here are some of my reflections on that beautiful Mass. 4:00AM. I grimaced when the alarm went off. I’m an early riser, generally up and at my desk by 5:30AM, but 4:00AM on a Sunday is a bit extreme, even for me. However, as a JPII kid (he became Pope when I was 11 years old), I felt compelled to watch his canonization live, much in the same way that I rose in the middle of the night 9 years ago to watch his funeral Mass. That day was one of great sadness at the temporal loss of a man who I viewed as my spiritual Papa – the day of his canonization, however, is a day of great joy and victory as our beloved Papa, along with Pope John XXIII, is recognized by the church as one of her great saints!Here are some of the parts of the canonization Mass that touched me the most.Pope Francis Greeting Pope BenedictThe warm greeting exchanged by Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI under the banners of the soon-to-be canonized Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, and just beyond the statue of St. Peter spoke volumes to me as I watched. It was a noteworthy and historical moment for so two major reasons:No two living pontiffs have ever been present at a canonization celebration.Two Popes have never been canonized together. For me, it was far more than just the historical novelty and uniqueness of today’s celebration. Their embrace was a vivid demonstration of the great blessing of Apostolic succession that the Catholic Church exclusively enjoys. The grace of continuity of teaching and leadership in the church was tangibly on display today

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