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ETX reaction to two new saints named by Catholic church

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TYLER (KYTX) - East Texans woke up to news two former leaders of the Catholic church will soon be named saints.

Many people we spoke to were excited to see Pope Francis signed off to make the late Pope John Paul II a saint.

And Pope John XXIII is in line to become one too.

While the official ceremony won't happen until later this year, people are calling the news extraordinary.

In the quiet solitude of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul in Tyler, many are rejoicing in the news of two saints being named by the Catholic church.

"This is a pope I grew up with, a saint I grew up with and that so many of us have known through the media over the last 30 years," says Deacon Bill Necessary.

Necessary says the connection with Pope John Paul II, who died just 8 years ago, is strong with the faithful.

"I knew John Paul the great would be named very quickly," says Necessary.

"Their place with God is attested to by divine signs, especially the miracles," says Father Anthony McLaughlin.

Father McLaughlin at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception says both Pope John Paul and John were proven through the church.

Pope John XXIII served from 1958 to 1963 and is best known for calling the second Vatican Council.

John Paul II served from 1978 until 2005.

"John Paul really put the papacy fairly into the modern world. He was the pope of television cameras, the media events, the public audiences, the public masses," says Father McLaughlin.

Father McLaughlin says his charisma brought more attention to Catholicism, he was even known as the rock star pontiff.

"Always good people come to know the faith and with name recognition like Pope John Paul II," says Father McLaughlin.

Deacon Necessary hopes the connection with the newly soon to be named saints can rekindle interest in followers to fill the seats.

"Hopefully this will be a point at which Catholics that have been lukewarm in their faith, maybe fallen away, will come back to the church knowing John Paul the great will now be a saint," says Necessary.

There is a process for canonization, it includes several steps, being named "venerable," or having heroic virtues, and also having two miracles attributed to the person.

December 8th has been floated as a possible date for the canonization ceremonies.

Those are likely to bring hundreds of thousands of people to Rome.

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