Blessed John Paul II

Rome prepares for influx ahead of canonizations

Pilgrims from St. Louis celebrated Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, Italy. Review multimedia journalist Lisa Johnston and Katie Pesha, executive director of the archdiocesan Office of Communications and Planning, joined a group of 40 pilgrims from St. Louis to witness the canonization events in Rome. The group is led by Father Christopher Martin, director of the archdiocesan Office of Vocations. Johnston and Pesha, with the help of some of the pilgrims with them, will provide photos, videos and more, from a unique local angle. See the coverage at

VATICAN CITY -- Just over a week before Pope Francis canonizes two of his predecessors in a ceremony in St. Peter's Square, Romans were bracing for the arrival of as many as 3 million outsiders.

Nineteen heads of state, 24 prime ministers and 23 government ministers from various countries are due in Rome April 27-28 for the canonization of Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said.

Pope clears the way for the canonizations of John Paul II, John XXIII

Pope Francis signed a decree clearing the way for the canonization of Blessed John Paul II, left, and has asked cardinals to vote on the canonization of Blessed John XXIII, right.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis signed a decree clearing the way for the canonization of Blessed John Paul II and has decided also to ask the world's cardinals to vote on the canonization of Blessed John XXIII, even in the absence of a miracle.

After Pope Francis met July 5 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, the Vatican published a list of decrees the pope approved related to Blessed John Paul's canonization and 11 other sainthood causes.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Solidarity means working together for the one human family

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrated a Mass for members of the St. Thomas More Society of Greater St. Louis at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Clayton June 22.

According to Blessed John Paul II, solidarity with the human family consists in "a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good." In pursuit of solidarity, the pope called for a worldwide effort to promote development, an effort that "involves sacrificing the positions of income and of power enjoyed by the more developed economies" in the interest of "an overall human enrichment to the family of nations."

Editorial | Sports still a training ground of virtue

Blessed John Paul II, an avid sportsman in his youth, once lauded the moral value of sports. "They are a training ground of virtue," he said.

His wisdom is worth contemplating during a busy summer that, in addition to the usual menu of baseball, football, tennis, golf, etc., offers the Olympic Summer Games in London.

Unfortunately, virtue can sometimes be difficult to find in modern sport. Multimillion-dollar professional salaries, bloated TV ratings and lucrative endorsements frequently breed a cult of celebrity that often spawns immoral behavior both on and off the playing field.

Theology of the Body expert Christopher West in St. Louis April 11

Noted Theology of the Body author and speaker Christopher West will be in St. Louis this month for a presentation on "Our Bodies Proclaim the Gospel," at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, at Immaculate Conception Parish, 7701 Highway N in Dardenne Prairie.

West will speak about his new book, "At the Heart of the Gospel: Reclaiming the Body for the New Evangelization." The evening will focus on the "whys" behind the "what" of Catholic teaching on human sexuality.

Parishes to celebrate feast of Divine Mercy Sunday April 15

Divine Mercy Sunday is April 15.

The Feast of Divine Mercy, or Divine Mercy Sunday, is observed on the octave of Easter and celebrates the fullness of Christ's Resurrection. This year, the feast will be celebrated on April 15.

The feast was initiated by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun who kept a diary in the early 1900s of Christ's private revelations, telling her of His message of mercy.

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