Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II “modeled courage, holiness, charity, and attentiveness to the call of Jesus,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, April 24. The two popes will be canonized saints by Pope Francis in a Mass at the Vatican, April 27.
Full text of Archbishop Kurtz’s statement follows:
I join many millions of people around the world in joyfully celebrating the heroic virtue and fidelity to God exemplified by the lives of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. The Church’s formal proclamation makes official what so many of us already believed– that by God’s grace these two beloved leaders of our Church modeled courage, holiness, charity, and attentiveness to the call of Jesus. Both of them, in their own unique way, have shown us what Pope Francis has rightly called “the joy of the Gospel,” the joy of knowing and following Jesus Christ. In celebrating and imitating their lives, may we all hear anew the call of Jesus and, with enthusiasm, follow in the footsteps of these two great saints to be “full of fervor, joy, generosity, courage, boundless love and attraction!” (Evangelii Gaudium, 261)