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Canonization of predecessors provides another boost for Pope Francis
Canonization of predecessors provides another boost for Pope Francis

Pope Francis proclaimed sainthood Sunday for a pair of former pontiffs, John Paul II and John XXIII, thrilling multitudes who gathered in St. Peter’s Square and nearby to witness the unprecedented double canonization. It marked the first time in the church’s more than 2,000-year history that two former popes had been canonized on the same day. And, though the focus was on the two late pontiffs, the extravagant ceremony and Mass will probably provide another boost for the soaring popularity of Francis, the Argentine pope who has only held office for slightly more than a year. "These were two men of courage," Francis said in his homily of the two late popes. ...

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