FFE Magazine

Peek into the flaws of Popes to be Canonized

24 apr 2014 Peek into the flaws of Popes to be Canonized 3

Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II who will be canonized on Sunday, 27 April have their human sides despite how people around the world venerate and adore them.


Known as the “Good Pope,” Pope John XXIII who reigned from 1958 to 1963 is remembered as a holy, patient and courageous man. His Italian culture is reflected on his behavior. He was warm, simple and had an incredible sense of humour. He is greatly credited for changing the doctrines of the church in convening Vatican II.


At a Vatican news conference on 22 April, John XXIII’s postulator and Franciscan Father Giovan giuseppe Califano said, “John XXIII was aware of his defects … and his own limits,” including his “good appetite” and struggle losing weight, but had a self-deprecating sense of humor, which made him “more endearing.”


Catholicnews.com relates a story of a nun who worked in the papal apartment with the future St. John Paul II saw him tired one day and said, “I’m worried about Your Holiness.” And he responded, “I, too, am worried about my holiness.”


During the Vatican conference, the priests who were promoting the canonization of these two popes admit that definitely saints are models but they are not angels. In his own diary, Pope John XXIII wrote, “They call me Holy Father and that is what I must be.”


24 apr 2014 Peek into the flaws of Popes to be Canonized 2

Pope John Paul II, according to his postulator, Msgr. Slawomir Oder said that the polish pope is an “emotional man, full-blooded.”




Msgr. Oder admitted that the pope also had flaws like any man saying, “we should not think that holiness is like a piece of gold.” He recalled, “ As archbishop of Krakow he once got so angry at one of his priests that he demanded the man’s driver’s license and forced him to walk back to his parish. “He later asked forgiveness.”


Considering the dangers during the pope’s international travels, Msgr Oder also said that John Paul II often refused to wear a bullet-proof vest because ‘he had another type of protection’.


“John Paul II had defects like every man,” Msgr. Oder told the media in the Vatican briefing.  ”True holiness lies in a person, responding to God’s grace, correcting his defects,”


One of Pope John Paul II’s great achievements is being a catalyst in the fall of the Russian empire. It was also during his papal reign when the Germans brought down the Berlin wall.


The approaching double canonization to be held in The Vatican at St. Peter’s Square is much awaited by millions of pilgrims, tourists, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Five million people are expected to attend the Vatican’s major ceremony. Vatican officials have also prepared TV and social media campaigns for the people who cannot make it to this special event.



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