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Mass in Thanksgiving for New Saints to Conclude at Saint John Paul II National Shrine

Televised event on Mother's Day will include procession and veneration of relic

Contact: Joe Cullen, 203-800-9314, joseph.cullen@kofc.org; Andrew Walther, 203-824-5412, andrew.walther@kofc.org; both with Knights of Columbus 

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- An internationally televised solemn Mass of thanksgiving for the canonizations of St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII will be celebrated at noon on Mother's Day, May 11, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., followed by a procession to the nearby Saint John Paul II National Shrine. 

A relic of St. John Paul II will be carried into the basilica by Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, who also serves as supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus. The relic, which consists of a vial of St. John Paul II's blood, will be displayed in the sanctuary along with a relic of St. John XXIII. 

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, will lead the National Mass of Thanksgiving as principal celebrant and homilist. Following Mass, Cardinal Wuerl will carry the relic of St. John Paul in procession to the nation's premiere site honoring the saint, located at 3900 Harewood Road.  

Once there, Cardinal Wuerl will lead the faithful in the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and other prayers. Afterwards, there will be an opportunity for individual veneration of the relic, which was entrusted to the Knights of Columbus by Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, archbishop of Kraków and longtime personal secretary to John Paul.

"At his canonization, Pope Francis described St. John Paul as the 'pope of the family,' so it is particularly appropriate that our thanksgiving take place on Mother's Day, a day celebrated by the family," said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who will offer remarks at the event's conclusion.

All of the proceedings will be covered live by EWTN, the U.S.-based international Catholic network; Salt+Light TV, the Canadian Catholic network; CatholicTV of the Archdiocese of Boston and NET-NY, the network of the Diocese of  Brooklyn, NY.

In 2011, The Knights of Columbus acquired the facility that has become the Saint John Paul II National Shrine to honor the pope's contributions to the Church and society. Its designation as a national shrine was announced by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on March 19.

More information is available at jp2shrine.org.