The Canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II
posted on: 4/24/2014

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli came from a farming family in Northern Italy. He was almost 77 years old when he was elected Pope John XXIII.

Karol Jozef Wojtyla lived through the horrors of the Nazi destruction and persecution in Poland. He attended an underground seminary during World War II. He was a poet and an actor and a scholar. He was 58 when he was elected Pope John Paul II.

When they were young, the idea that either man would become pope seemed unlikely. But that they would become saints was something each strived for early in life.

“God desires us to follow the examples of the saints by absorbing the vital sap of their virtues and turning it into our own life-blood, adapting it to our own individual capacities and particular circumstances,” wrote young Roncalli in his spiritual journal in 1903, a year before he was ordained a priest.

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