STEUBENVILLE, Ohio—Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, the president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, will lead a pilgrimage to Rome for the canonization of Blessed Pope John Paul II and Blessed Pope John XXIII. The canonizations, set for April 27, the Feast of Divine Mercy, mark the first time two popes have been canonized at the same time.
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The Franciscan University Pilgrims will join Catholics from throughout the world in St. Peter’s Square for the full schedule of events surrounding the canonizations, including the ceremony, Mass, and papal blessing by Pope Francis.
“We’re glad we will be in Rome for this joyous occasion,” says Father Sheridan. “For us as Catholics, the naming of a saint is about something intimately related to all that we believe. It’s a chance to celebrate holiness embodied in the life of another human being. On this pilgrimage, we will be celebrating the holiness of two of the most beloved popes of our time!”
The April 25-May 1 pilgrimage includes five full days in Rome with time set aside for two exclusive lectures for the Franciscan University pilgrims, one by Father Jonathan Morris, who studied at Franciscan University and is now a well-known TV news commentator and author, and the other by George Weigel, who spent many hours with Pope John Paul II for his historic book, Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II.
Other highlights include visits to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Basilica of St. Mary Major, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Church of St. Peter in Chains, the ancient Roman Forum, the Vatican Museums including the Sistine Chapel, and the April 30 general audience with Pope Francis (subject to confirmation).
Father Sheridan will celebrate daily Mass and lead other devotions, especially the Divine Mercy Chaplet, with the pilgrims. There will also be time for private spiritual reflection and independent sightseeing in the Eternal City. For complete details including meals, lodging, and transportation, contact Kelli Beatty, Franciscan University Pilgrimage coordinator, at 740-284-5812 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.franciscan.edu/pilgrimages/.