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El Paso (KDBC) — More than 800,000 people gathered in saint peters square to witness Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII become saints, the first duel canonization for the catholic church.
"They're both very, very deserving of this and it's just nice that we have this happen during our lifetime," said Mary Brock, an El Paso resident.
This particular event however was riddled with controversy, as some questioned whether or not the rules for canonization were followed closely.
"Anywhere you go there's going to be controversy, but these two popes were very, very holy men and dedicated their lives to the lord and they fulfilled it," said Carlos Munoz Jr., an El Paso resident.
It has been about 50 years since the death of Pope Paul XXIII, and less than 10 years since the death of Pope John Paul II, which is why this particular canonization is especially signigicant.
Father Trini Fuentes with Saint Patrick's Cathedral in El Paso said, "anytime a person dies it takes about 50 years before they beautify them and another [few] years before they canonize them. This is rare especially because of the fact that John Paul II just recently died... It's a really exciting time for ourselves."
Catholics everywhere, including here in El Paso, are overjoyed that the two newest saints are people that walked this earth not too long ago.
"It's two popes that we actually touched, that we actually knew.. especially John Paul II that went throughout the world and many people have seen him, many people have touched him," Fuentes said.
"Many people have blessed rosaries by him, blessed medals so it's a great occasion. It's not saints that lived in the 1800s or 1700s or 1600s. but actually in our lifetimes."
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