Pope Francis will canonize two new saints today, by far the most controversial personalities of the 20th century in the Roman Catholic Church.
St. Peter’s Basilica will host the ascension to sainthood of Pope Paul VI (left photo) and martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador (right photo).
Pope Francis considers the two beatified personalities has great influence on him. Close aides are privy to the information that Francis wants the two models of saintliness be canonized during his term in the Vatican.
Vatican politics has long prevailed the move against the canonization of the two candidates but cut short with the arrival of the current pope.
[Editor’s Note: Livestream coverage of the canonization direct from Vatican added below.]
Five other candidates for sainthood will also be canonized in the solemn ceremony on St. Peter’s square, fronting St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.
Paul VI is remembered for presiding the final sessions of Vatican II, between 1962-65 church conventions that modernized the Catholic Church. The meetings resulted with allowing liturgy celebration in the local language rather than in Latin. It opened greater roles for the laity and improved interfaith relations.
The papacy of Paul VI ushered the start of the “travelling pope.” He visited many countries in all five continents, including the Philippines during his papacy.
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Paul VI’s real name before becoming a pope was Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini. He was born on 26 September 1897.
Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez was the archbishop of San Salvador when murdered by right-wing death squads during the celebration of a Mass on March 24, 1980 in a hospital chapel.
The military was allegedly suspected to have connections on the murderous act. The archbishop was preaching against the army’s repression at the start of the country’s 1980-1992 civil war.
Livestream coverage of the Holy Mass, Canonization and Angelus: