Popes Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII

Crowd in St. Peter's Square estimated at 800,000 people
Crowd in St. Peter’s Square estimated at 800,000 people

Yesterday, Popes John Paul II and John XXIII were declared saints in a canonization mass attended by over 800,000 people in St. Peter’s Square.  For the rest of us who weren’t able to make it in person to Rome, the event was live-streamed and now available to watch on YouTube!

Here in Vancouver, the archdiocese held a Mass to celebrate this event with about 10,000 attendees in Pacific Coliseum.

What makes a saint?

I couldn’t really find a better way to summarize it so here are some quotations from Mark Hart’s blog post on “What makes a saint”:

…the Church doesn’t “make someone” a saint. The Church recognizes the holiness of certain individuals and honors some with the title of “saint.” If you make it to heaven, you are a saint – whether or not the Church recognizes you as one publicly.

[God’s] given us … the saints to offer a model of life and example of prayer.

Your sainthood doesn’t begin when a council starts investigating your life. Your invitation to sainthood began at your Baptism. Your life – right now – is your RSVP.

In short, we should learn from the canonized saints, and strive to become a saint ourselves.