Washington seminary prepares for Sunday's canonization

Pope John Paul II

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJLA)-The Blessed John Paul II Seminary in Northeast Washington, D.C. is preparing for the canonization of its namesake, Pope John Paul II on Sunday.

The seminarians are set to watch the dual canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII live in the John Paul II Shrine.{ } It is the first time in the church’s history that two popes will be canonized at the same time.

Ben Petty, who is studying for priesthood at the seminary, said he shares{ } John Paul II’s love for philosophy and theatre.

“Some say,’ oh, you're a philosopher and you have no emotions,’ or ‘you're an actor so you have no reason,’” Petty said. “But John Paul II puts all that together and it’s beautiful.”

At the chapel there is a small piece of John Paul II’s bloodstained cassock from the 1981 assassination attempt.

Shrine executive director Patrick Kelly said he met John Paul II in 2000, on his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

“It was amazing to be in his presence because you got a sense of the holiness of this man. It was an aura that he had,” Kelly said. “He is such a beautiful image of what it means to be a saint.”

At the seminary, they will unveil new signage that reflects the pope’s title change from “blessed” to “saint.”

The canonization will begin at 4 p.m. on Sunday, which is also celebrated as the feast day of Divine Mercy and the Second Sunday of Easter by many Catholics.