Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Last Papal Canonisation

The last Pope to be canonised was Saint Pius X (2 June 1835 – 20 August 1914) on 29 May 1954

The two video clips above show the huge crowds which thronged St Peters Square and beyond that day to hear Pope Pius XII declare his predecessor a saint

The crowd in the Square and beyond was estimated at about one million

The cause had unofficially started almost immediately after his death but was not officially started until 14 February 1923

It gained impetus under the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. Beatification took place on 3 June 1951

The Catholic Herald`s edition of 4th June 1954 (above) was filled with news about the canonisation ceremony

As well as the front page, there was coverage on other pages such as page 4

In his allocution Pope Pius XII said of the day that  it was  "among the happiest days of our Pontificate, to which Providence has allocated so many sorrows and cares." A happy day too "for the entire Church which, gathered around us in spirit. rejoices all together in a great thrill of religious feeling."

"We offer heartfelt thanks to God in His goodness for allowing us to take part in this extraordinary event ... all the more so since for perhaps the first time in the history of the Church, the formal canonisation of a Pope is proclaimed by one who had the privilege of serving him in the Roman Curia."

The first 32 Popes from the time of St. Peter until the Edict of Milan AD 313 are all saints. All but three were martyrs.

From 313 until the year 1000 there were 108 Popes and of these 41 are saints, including two martyrs, St. John I (526) and St. Sylverius (537).

From the year 1000 until the present day five Popes have been canonised — St. Leo (1054), St. Gregory VII (1078), St. Celestine V (l246),  St. Pius V (1572), who was canonised in 1712 and St Pius X (1914)

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