Pope John Paul II to be canonized

July 5, 2013 Denise Romano
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The Vatican announced on Friday, July 5 that the Roman Catholic Church will declare the late Pope John Paul II a saint.

Pope John Paul II served as the head of the Catholic Church from October 1978 up until he died in April, 2005. He was the second-longest serving pope and the first non-Italian pope since Pope Adrian VI who died in 1523.

Congressmember Michael Grimm, who is a Catholic, expressed his “joy” upon hearing the news. He recalled singing for the late pope when he was 12 years old.

“I was honored to travel with my choir to the Vatican to sing for Pope John Paul and a private audience,” Grimm said. “I will never forget how privileged I felt when he came down from the altar after the performance and blessed us all.”

Grimm had nothing but kind words for the late pope.

“Pope John Paul’s amazing life and leadership guided the church’s loving message of compassion and charity through the complexities of the modern world. Through his countless pastoral trips and youth congregations, Pope John Paul’s energy, personability and endless faith brought a renewed belief in the teachings of Christ and the relevance of Christian morality in the 21st Century, particularly among young people,” the congressmember said. “A tireless advocate for the poor and a constant voice for freedom of expression, Pope John Paul’s brave criticism of the Soviet regime directly contributed to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.

“The canonization of Pope John Paul II is testament to the legacy and life of a remarkable leader in the Catholic Church. Saint Pope John Paul II will serve as a constant source of strength and comfort to the community of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide,” he concluded.

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