Catholic pilgrims celebrate creation of two new saints

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Catholic pilgrims celebrate creation of two new saints

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It was a day which broke a string of records and one which Catholic pilgrims did not want to end.

Two living popes, Francis and his predecessor Benedict XVI officiated at a ceremony not seen since the Middle Ages – the elevation to sainthood of two other popes on the same day.

Cheers and applause rang out across the Vatican’s St Peter’s Square after the historic double papal canonisation of John XXIII and John Paul II.

And the singing and prayers of more than one million believers who crammed into Rome continued throughout Sunday and into the evening.

It was an unprecedented event never to be forgotten.

Italian Manuela Corsoni said she was happy she had been in Rome: “It was a very emotional experience, the atmosphere was unique here today. It is completely different when you are actually here in St. Peter’s Square.”

Afterwards thousands of people visited the tombs of the Catholic Church’s two newest Saints which lie in St Peter’s Basilica.

Both popes are seen as representing contrasting faces of the church – reform and tradition – but both much revered.