Two giants of 20th century Catholicism will become saints on Sunday at an unprecedented twin canonization bringing joy and controversy to the Church.
Two giants of 20th century Roman Catholicism will become saints on Sunday at an unprecedented twin canonization that has aroused both joy and controversy in the 1.2 billion-member church.
Pope John XXIII's papacy ran from 1958 to 1963 and was marked by his call for the church to modernize with the Second Vatican Council. Pope John Paul II's nearly 27-year papacy ended with his death in 2005, after his trips around the world made him the most visible pope in history. Both will be declared saints by Pope Francis.
In the photo above, a monument of the late Pope John Paul II stands in Czestochowa, southern Poland on April 2.
A bas-relief sculpture of the late Pope John Paul II, made of bronze, being worked on in Krakow, Poland on April 17. The late Polish pope is hailed for helping to bring down the fall of communism. But he has also been criticized for not doing more about the child sexual abuse scandals that came to light during his papacy.
Sculptor Czeslaw Dzwigaj works on a bas-relief of the late Pope John Paul II in his workshop near Krakow, Poland on April 9. Some critics say the canonization of John Paul II, only nine years after his death, is too hasty.
Sculptor Dondon Awa cleans the head of a statue of the late Pope John Paul II in Tayuman, Manila on April 11. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow, Poland was elected the first non-Italian pope in 450 years in 1978. He inspired millions of Catholics around the world by taking the papacy on the road, visiting about 140 countries, for many their first papal visit.
Fernando Canini, director of Rome's wax museum, puts the final touches on the new wax statue representing Pope John XXIII, on April 7.
People cast shadows as they pray in front of a statue of the late Pope John Paul II on the ninth anniversary of his death in Wadowice, the birth place of the Polish pope, on April 2.
Photos of the late Pope John Paul II are displayed in a shop in Rome on April 23. Despite some of the controversy around Pope John Paul II’s canonization, the Vatican expects 800,000 to a million pilgrims to come to Rome for the event.
A shop worker holds rosaries bearing pictures of Pope John Paul II inside a religious store in Caloocan City, Manila on April 16.
A statue of the late Pope John Paul II stands in Ploermel, France on Jan. 25. The sign reads: "Do not be afraid."