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AP PHOTOS: John XXIII, John Paul II names saints

Monday - 4/28/2014, 12:48am  ET

Pope Francis is driven through the crowd in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, April 27, 2014. Pope Francis has declared his two predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints in an unprecedented canonization ceremony made even more historic by the presence of retired Pope Benedict XVI. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The Associated Press
Associated Press

Pope Francis declared Popes John XXIII and John Paul II saints on Sunday in an unprecedented ceremony made even more historic by the presence of emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square.

"John XXIII and John Paul II cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the church in keeping with her pristine features, those features which the saints have given her throughout the centuries," Francis said.

It was Benedict who put John Paul on the fast-track for possible sainthood just weeks after he died in 2005, responding to the chants of "Santo Subito!" or "Sainthood Now!" that erupted during his funeral Mass. His canonization is now the fastest in modern times.

Francis took a deep breath and paused for a moment before reciting the saint-making formula in Latin at the start of the ceremony, as if moved by the history he was about to make in canonizing two popes at once.

Here's a gallery of images from today's canonizations.

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