PAWTUCKET, RI- Churches across Rhode Island celebrated the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, including a Pawtucket church named after one of the saints.
“We were Blessed Pope John II. Now, we're Saint John Paul II which is a heck of a lot easier to say and a lot easier to write," said Father Michael Sisco.
Being declared a Saint is the highest achievement in the Roman Catholic Church.
A new statue of the Saint was blessed today at St. Cecilia Church where Sunday mass was standing room only.
Parishioners, Victor and Monica Bergeron said, "Monica had seen him at World Youth Day in 1993. I went to mass with him in New York. He was just a beautiful father figure and a tremendously intelligent man who taught us so much about the faith and the dignity of the human person."
Both Popes were influential during their papacy and both came from humble beginnings. This may have added to their popularity.
"It's just confirmation for us as Catholics that there is hope and that you're going to be in heaven someday," said parishioner, Veronica Plante.
The statue will sit at Saint Paul II Church for a week, and then permanently move to St. Cecilia's.