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Popes Who Fostered Ties With Jews Win Sainthood

Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, who played key roles in fostering Catholic-Jewish relations, will be canonized as saints.

The ceremony will take place next April 27, the Vatican announced Monday.

Polish-born John Paul, who reigned from 1978 to 2005, made bettering Catholic-Jewish relations a cornerstone of his papacy.

John XXIII, who reigned from 1958-1963, convened the Second Vatican Council, which in 1965 issued the Nostra Aetate declaration that called for Jewish-Catholic dialogue and rejected the ancient Christian stigma against Jewish as killers of Jesus.

The Vatican had announced in July that the two late pontiffs would be declared saints, but had not set a date. Monday’s announcement came during a consistory meeting at the Vatican.

During the meeting, the Vatican announcement said, Pope Francis decreed that John Paul and John would be “inscribed in the book of saints on Sunday, 27 April 2014, Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday.”

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