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John XXIII and John Paul II declared saints

Retired Pope Benedict XVI and Taoiseach Enda Kenny are in attendance at today’s ceremony.

Image: Niall Carson

POPE FRANCIS has declared  John Paul II and John XXIII as saints of the Catholic Church.

Pilgrims from around the world gathered in St Peter’s Square in Rome to be present at the canonisation.

The Vatican says 800,000 pilgrims are in attendance at the sainthood ceremony.

Dignitories from around the world, including Taoiseach Enda Kenny, are also present at today’s historic ceremony.

“We declare and define as saints the blessed John XXIII and John Paul II,” Francis said in a Latin prayer, as pilgrims and foreign dignitaries chanted back “Amen!”

Retired Pope Benedict XVI is also at today’s ceremony.

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Francis recited the saint-making formula in Latin, saying that after deliberating, consulting and praying for divine assistance.

Benedict was sitting off to the side with other cardinals in St. Peter’s Square during the rite at the start of today’s Mass. He and Francis briefly greeted one another after Francis arrived.

Canonisation of Popes at the Vatican A group of South American priests arrive at St Peters Square in Rome. Source: Niall Carson

Additional reporting Associated Press and AFP

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