Canonisation dates to be announced in September

Pope Francis will host a meeting of cardinals on September 30 to formally approve the canonisation of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII, and announce the date for the canonisation at that time, reports the Catholic News Service.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, told Vatican Radio yesterday that only Pope Francis knew the date he would proclaim the two popes saints, although he had already implied that it's likely to be in 2014.

Speaking to reporters traveling with him from Brazil to Rome July 28, Pope Francis said he had been considering December 8, but the possibility of icy roads could make it difficult for Polish pilgrims who would travel by bus to Rome for the ceremony.

Another option, he said, would be April 27, which is the Sunday after Easter and the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, a celebration instituted worldwide by Pope John Paul II.

Asked to describe the two late popes, Pope Francis said Blessed John was 'a bit of the "country priest," a priest who loves each of the faithful and knows how to care for them; he did this as a bishop and as a nuncio." He was holy, patient, had a good sense of humor and, especially by calling the Second Vatican Council, was a man of courage, Pope Francis said. 'He was a man who let himself be guided by the Lord.'

As for Blessed John Paul, he told the reporters on the plane, 'I think of him as 'the great missionary of the church,' because he was 'a man who proclaimed the Gospel everywhere.'

FULL STORY Canonisation dates for John XXIII and JPII to be announced in September (CNS)