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Mumbai's Catholic community fondly remembers canonized Popes

April 28, 2014

Sunday's historic canonization of two former Popes, John XXIII and John Paul II, in Vatican City pleased and energized the city's Catholic community. Both erstwhile heads of the Church were declared saints in the presence of two living Popes, Francis and Benedict.

The archbishop of Bombay, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, was among 150 international cardinals who attended the event in Rome. Testimonies of divine healing at Sunday's ceremony renewed people's faith in the small miracles of daily life.

"The first Sunday after Easter marks the Feast of Divine Mercy, so the Church aptly chose this day for the ceremony. Every day God's miracles touch our everyday lives, whether it is a wildflower that has escaped the wrath of builders or a miracle of healing," said Jennifer Rodrigues, professor of history at National College. For several Catholics, this milestone brought back memories of their own meetings with the newly ordained saints. Bandra activist Daphne Warapen said, "I am thrilled to think how fortunate I have been to have met both the saintly popes closely with a handshake. I met St John Paul II three times and he kissed my son when my boy was six."

Dadar resident Judith Monteiro watched Sunday's ceremony with her father Graciano. Both had seen St John Paul II when he visited Mumbai in February 1986. "My father and I were ushers during his public meeting at Shivaji Park. We still treasure the usher badges as souvenirs and showed them to Cardinal Gracias when his statue was installed in Mumbai recently," she said. Gordon D'souza, president of the Bombay Catholic Sabha said, "We are filled with joy because both saints made exemplary changes in the Church."

Source: Times of India

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