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Popes John Paul II  and John XXIII were declared saints on Sunday. Pope Francis declared his two predecessors saints of the Roman Catholic Church in an unprecedented double-canonisation mass in St Peter’s Square.

Francis recited the saint-making formula in Latin, saying that after deliberating, consulting and praying for divine assistance “we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be saints and we enroll them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church.” He said

Popes John Paul II And John XXIII Declared Saints

Popes John Paul II And John XXIII Declared Saints

The two towering figures of the 20th-century church were canonised to great applause from hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered in the Vatican piazza.

John XXIII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963 and called the modernising Second Vatican Council, and John Paul II, the Pole who reigned for nearly 27 years, played a leading role on the world stage.