I have witnessed Pope John Paul II during a canonization rite in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome when I visited Rome in 1997. It was an experience to behold. I was able to get in the Basilica by chance. I went to St. Peter’s Basilica after walking around Vatican City when I saw all the barriers around it preventing unauthorized people from walking in.
One of the guards asked me if I had a ticket to participate in the canonization rites, and I meekly said no. He told me to wait as he ran inside only to come back a few minutes later with a ticket for me.
Just like it was pictured above, the portraits of the Blesseds to be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI are posted outside the the Basilica. This time, our second Filipino saint’s portrait (Blessed Pedro Calungsod) hung above taking the second highest place of honor among the Blesseds to be canonized.
The six other Blesseds who will be canonized today with Blessed Pedro Calungsod are: Blessed Jacques Berthieu, a Jesuit missionary in Madagascar who was martyred; Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta, founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth; Blessed Maria Carmen Salles, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception; Blessed Marianne Cope, Sister of Saint Francis of Syracuse; Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, companion of the Jesuit missionaries in North America; and Blessed Anne Schaeffer, a German laywoman and mystic.