By Linda Bordoni
Greeting the pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis turned his thoughts to a Pope he is preparing to canonize.
“Forty years ago Blessed Pope Paul VI – the Pope of modernity - was living his last hours on this earth. He died in the evening of August 6, 1978” he said.
And looking ahead to his canonization that is scheduled to take place on 14 October next, he said
“We remember him with great veneration and gratitude” and while awaiting his canonization, he prayed that “from heaven, may he intercede for the Church and for peace in the world.
Canonization at close of Synod of Bishops
The Vatican officially announced in March that the canonization Mass for Paul VI will take place at the close of the Synod of Bishops, an institution Paul VI himself founded.
Pope Francis had already confirmed that Paul VI would be elevated to sainthood during a conversation with priests and deacons from the Diocese of Rome.
Paul VI, who led the Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978, through the closing of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) is often referred to as the ‘Pope of modernity’ as he oversaw transitions in liturgy, seminary formation, theological study, and many other areas of ecclesiastical life.
Synod of Bishops
Paul VI launched the Synod of Bishops in 1965 with the aim to broaden the involvement of bishops from around the world in the governance of the Church.
The next Synod of Bishops will take place in the Vatican in October, devoted to themes of youth and vocations.