At a March 31 press conference, Vatican officials outlined preparations for the canonizations of Blessed John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII.
The Vatican has set up a web site providing background on the two Pontiffs, and information about the canonization ceremonies. This information is available in Italian, English, Spanish, French and Polish. An application for PDAs, “Santo Subito” will provide logistical information about attending the ceremonies, using the same languages.
The March 31 press conference listed the various resources that are available online—through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google±- for those seeking more information about the canonizations. Reporters were also briefed on a project called #2popesaints, which will use social media to help young people become acquainted with the lives of the two Pontiffs.
On April 22, the postulators for the causes of the two—Msgr. Slavomir Oder for Blessed John Paul II and Father Giovangiuseppe Califano for Blessed John XXIII—will speak at a meeting with young people in the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran, at which Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the vicar of Rome, will preside. On the eve of the canonizations, churches throughout the center of Rome will remain open for a “white night of prayer,” offering opportunities for confession in various languages.
The Diocese of Bergamo, Italy, the birthplace of Blessed John XXIII, is organizing its own series of observances, oriented toward care for those in need. The diocese is undertaking an aid project to provide educational support for Haitian students, and suggesting that priests donate a month’s salary, and take special parish collections, for families suffering from the current financial crisis. On April 12, a symposium will be held to discuss the landmark encyclical Pacem in Terris, with Jacque Delors, the former president of the European Commission, chairing the session, attended by ambassadors from the countries where the future Pontiff served as a Vatican diplomat: Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, and France.