By Justin Udo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Catholics all around the world welcomed two new saints into their faith in a historic canonization ceremony on Sunday morning in St. Peter’s Square (read related story).
Back home, Bishop David O’ Connell of the Diocese of Trenton explains why this day is so significant to the Roman Catholic Church.
“Both of these popes are in a sense bookends to a very important time in the Church’s history as it was coming into the modern era,” says Bishop O’Connell.
Bishop O’Connell tells CBS 3 that Popes John Paul II and John the XXIII both helped to renew the strength of the Church.
“People have a real special affinity, especially for Pope John Paul II,” says Bishop O’Connell. “He was pope for 27 years. For many people, he was the pope for their entire lifetime.”
And Bishop O’ Connell says the impact of Pope John Paul II can still be felt.
“When he saw an opportunity he seized it — not just for Catholics — but for the world,” he says. “This man played his life out on the stage of the world. The things that he did, especially the downfall of communism, he’ll be remembered forever in history.”