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No-frills canonization for Popes JPII, John XXIII

Monday - 3/31/2014, 9:38am  ET

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The simple, low-frills style of Pope Francis is having an effect on the upcoming canonizations of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII.

Organizers of the event said Monday the April 27 saint-making ceremony will be a much more sober affair compared to the three-day extravaganza that accompanied John Paul's 2011 beatification.

That 2011 event included a prayer vigil on Rome's Circus Maximus field for tens of thousands of people and ended up costing several times the original estimate of 1.2 million euros.

No such vigil is planned this time around. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the vicar of Rome, said churches in Rome's center will remain open overnight before the canonization to provide a spiritual retreat for pilgrims, "but not much else."

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