Vatican City, 27 April 2014 (VIS) – Following the Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica for the canonisation of the two Blessed Pontiffs, John XXIII and John Paul II, and before reciting the Regina Coeli, the Holy Father greeted the faithful and pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square and in the adjacent streets. He thanked the cardinals, bishops, priests, official delegations from the various countries, and the Italian authorities “who have come to pay homage to the two Pontiffs who have made an indelible contribution to the cause of the development of peoples and of peace”.
The Pope affectionately greeted pilgrims from the dioceses of Bergamo and Krakow, and encouraged them to honour the memory of the saints, continuing with their teachings. Likewise, he thanked the diocese of Rome, Cardinal Vallini, the municipal authorities, the mayor and the forces of order, as well as the different organisations and volunteers “who with great generosity have prepared these memorable days”. He also thanked the media for making it possible for so many people to participate, and mentioned the elderly and the sick, commenting that the two new saints were very close to them.
Pope Francis then prayed to the Virgin Mary, “whom St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II loved like true sons”. After welcoming the official delegations, and for the first time in a canonisation or beatification ceremony, Pope Francis toured St. Peter’s Square and Via della Conciliazione in the Popemobile to bless and greet the pilgrims who participated in this historic event.