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Local Religious Leaders Sound Off on Canonization

Serves as a sign of hope to area Catholics
PEORIA - “Just like there are living Christians who inspire us, convert us, bring us closer to God, the Saints we believe continue to do that” says, Bishop Daniel Jenky.

Four Popes in one place. Never has that happened in the history of Catholicism. Followers from around the world gathered in Rome to celebrate the canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

"From all countries, flags, music, photographer, soldiers, Swiss Guard, Bishops, Cardinals, all screaming, and then you see a guy coming in white and they all scream "Viva La Papa!" That's when you are in awe" explains Father Faouzi Elia of Saint Sharbels Parish.

Father Elia understands the power of the papacy. For 7 years, he was the Arabic and French translator for Pope Paul VI.

"The first time was not easy. When you are in an office next to a Pope of Rome, next to a president."

As more than a million people pack Rome’s streets... The world watched as two fallen catholic heroes were exalted.

"A saint gives us hope that we can be healed... Not only physically, but spiritually" says Father Elia.

And Bishop Jenky elaborated, "We revered saints as examples of how to follow Christ. They give us a way to imitate the lord and to put the lord at the center of our lives."

The late Bishop Fulton Sheen of El Paso, Illinois is considered "Venerable" by the Catholic Church.

That means he is two steps away from potentially becoming one of the first North American Saints.
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