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VATICAN CITY - Catholics venerate Blessed John Paul II for his holiness, as demonstrated, among other ways, by his globetrotting evangelism and long-suffering endurance in the papacy despite his illness.

Short pontificate left a long legacy

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VATICAN CITY - A plump, elderly, smiling Italian of peasant origins, Pope John XXIII brought a humble yet charismatic, personal style to the papacy. He placed great importance on his modest upbringing in a village about 40 km northeast of Milan, saying: “I come from the country, from poverty,” adding it was a “happy and blessed poverty — not cursed, not endured.”

Pope John XXIII often skirted protocol

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VATICAN CITY - Blessed John XXIII struggled to shake off many formalities that came with the papacy and often conspired with his valet to sneak out of the Vatican.

John Paul brought moral force, intellect, flair to world stage

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VATICAN CITY - Blessed John Paul II is remembered as was one of the most forceful moral leaders of the modern age.

An innovative pontiff

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VATICAN CITY - The first anniversary of Pope Francis’ election brought stories highlighting the unique style he has brought to the papacy. But maybe people have forgotten how much of what passes today for papal “tradition” was actually an innovation of Pope John Paul II.

Calling Vatican II was an act of faith

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VATICAN CITY - Blessed John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council in the conviction that it was necessary for the Catholic Church, yet without pre-conceived ideas of what it would accomplish, said Vatican II participants who recalled the event half a century later.

Two popes, two saints

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Saints are not saints because they fit some precast mould of perfection. The Church has proclaimed at least 20,000 saints over its two millennia and no two of them are the same.

Pope says he hopes new saints will inspire church to fulfill mission

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VATICAN CITY - Just days before Pope Francis was set to canonize two of his predecessors, he expressed his hopes the two soon-to-be saints would continue to inspire the whole church in its mission.

Women recount the stories of healing through intercession of popes

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VATICAN CITY - People said Floribeth Mora Diaz was crazy to think Blessed John Paul II interceded with God to heal her brain aneurysm, but if so, "then it is a blessed craziness, because I'm healthy," she told reporters at the Vatican.

Rome taking no chances with canonization plans

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ROME - Rome city officials expect approximately three million people to gather April 27 for the canonization of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II; that’s way too many people to watch the event near the Vatican, so they suggest the alternative of watching by the Colosseum and Roman Forum.

Prayer, charity surround John XXIII, John Paul II being declared saints

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VATICAN CITY - The rite of canonization for Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II April 27 will use the standard formula for the creation of new saints, but the Mass will be preceded by the recitation of the Divine Mercy chaplet, and it is possible retired Pope Benedict XVI will attend, the Vatican spokesman said.

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