Archdiocese to Celebrate Canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II

On Sunday, April 27, 2014, Pope Francis will declare two former Popes, Blessed John XXIII (1958-1963) and John Paul II (1978-2005), the Catholic Church’s newest saints at a Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

Archbishop William E. Lori and approximately 40 Baltimore-area Catholics will be among the estimated 4 million pilgrims expected to witness the canonization ceremony at the Vatican.

Those unable to travel to Rome for this special moment in the life of the Church are invited to attend a special Mass at Holy Rosary Church in Fells Point at 1:30 p.m. on April 27. The Mass will be celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, who was appointed a bishop by Pope John Paul II in August 2004. Holy Rosary, which has served Baltimore’s Polish-Catholic community since the late 19th century, was visited by the future Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, in 1976.

The Archdiocese and Basilica of the Assumption will commemorate the historic 1995 visit of Pope John Paul II to Baltimore with a special exhibit in the Basilica’s museum, located on the lower level. The exhibit will feature photographs and memorabilia from the Pope’s October 8, 1995 visit to Baltimore, which included a Mass at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and stops at the Basilica, Our Daily Bread, Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, and St. Mary’s Seminary. Among the items in the exhibit is a private telegram sent by the Pope to Cardinal William H. Keeler thanking him for the warm welcome he received in Baltimore. The exhibit, which opens April 24, will be accessible during the Basilica’s normal hours of operation.  

On Sunday, April 27, Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden will celebrate Mass at 10:45 a.m. at the Basilica. Afterwards, the bishop will lead a procession to the Pope John Paul II Prayer Garden, located behind the Basilica at Charles and Franklin Streets, where he will lay a wreath near the statue of Saint John Paul II.

To view a video commemorating the 1995 visit and other information about the canonizations, visit

Sean Caine

Sean Caine is Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of Communications