Brampton, Ont. - Polish Catholics flocked to St. Eugene de Mazenod parish in the early morning to celebrate the canonization of St. John Paul II, a son of Poland and beloved pope of the universal Church.
St. Eugene’s houses a first-class relic of St. John Paul II, three drops of his blood located below a statue of the pontiff.
On April 27, by 3 a.m. parishioners had already begun to arrive to pray. They listened to broadcasts from local priests who were present at the canonization in Rome.
Fr. Peter Nowak celebrated mass at 4 a.m. in both English and Polish. He opened mass by giving thanks to both popes — St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II — being canonized on this Divine Mercy Sunday.
“We are, for the most part, people of the head,” he said. “Yet both of these saints spoke to the heart, spoke from the heart.”
Nowak called St. John XXIII someone who simply felt the call of God in his heart. This “caretaker pope,” he said, stretched out his arms to welcome the 20th century and tear down barriers between the faithful and clergy. He wanted the basic language of the Church to be the language of love, said Nowak.
He went on to say that St. John XXIII was the beginning and St. John Paul II was the natural progression, carrying out what the former pope started.
By 5 a.m., parishioners lined up to venerate the relic of St. John Paul II before walking out into the sunrise on this historic day.
More to come from The Catholic Register.