SCRANTON — Two influential leaders of the Catholic church are set to receive a holy honor – sainthood.
Sunday, Pope Francis will make Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II saints in Vatican City.
It’s the first time two past popes will become saints on the same day.
Also, the two popes faced a short sainthood process.
Many popes require two miracles recognized by the Vatican doctors to be considered a saint.
John XXIII only has one, but Pope Francis decided to grant him sainthood anyway.
John Paul II will become a saint just nine years after his 2005 death. The process of becoming a saint usually takes a lot longer.
Members of the Catholic Church at the Divine Mercy Parish in Scranton are happy about Pope Francis’ decision to grant sainthood to the former leaders.
“I think it’s wonderful, not only because I’m Polish and the pope is Polish, but because they were two great popes,” said Paul Panusky from Old Forge.
Annemarie Hill from Minooka said, “To think that we have two of them who were well enough and good enough to be popes.”
Hill is already predicting that Pope Francis will also become a saint one day, saying, “Our own pope today is absolutely marvelous. I’ll be glad, very glad.”
More than 250,000 people are expected to attend the canonization in Vatican City on Sunday.