As expected, the date for the Canonizations has been set for April 27, 2014. This is Divine Mercy Sunday, a day which Pope John Paul II designated as a Feast Day in 2000. It is a floating feast day, occurring the first Sunday after Easter each year.
The approval process for Pope John XXIII was “fast tracked” by Pope Francis, since they did not have proof of a second miracle required to become a Saint. But the Pope has the authority to do so.
The dates will allow enough time to prepare for what will be a momentous event in the Church. Pope Francis alluded to the fact that many pilgrims would be coming from Pope John Paul II’s native Poland and he did not want them traveling hazardous roads in winter time to get to Rome for the Canonization. This was a pretty good indication that it would take place in the Spring, and what better day than Divine Mercy Sunday. And Pope John XXIII, best known for the fact that he is the one who called for the Second Vatican Council, was something of a surprise because it was thought he would be more of a caretaker Pope rather than one who made major changes.
If you wish to attend you will find many tour companies offering anything from a short stay to a 10-day (or longer) pilgrimage. We suggest you read our page on how to check out our articles on choosing a Catholic tour company as well as how to check out a tour operator’s reputation for some hints on making the right choice.
If you plan to attend on your own, be sure to make arrangements with a hotel or travel agency that you can trust. Most are trustworthy, of course, but with the large number of people expected it is wise to be cautious. To arrange tickets for the event contact the Pontifical Household. Tickets are free, but will be in limited supply.