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Knights of Columbus Supports Celebrations in U.S. and Rome for Popes' Canonizations

Contact: Andrew Walther, 203-824-5412, andrew.walther@kofc.org; Joseph Cullen, 203-415-9314, joseph.cullen@kofc.org; both with Knights of Columbus

NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 22, 2014 /Christian Newswire/  -- The Knights of Columbus will sponsor major U.S. celebrations coinciding with the canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII on Sunday, April 27 in Washington, D.C.; New Haven, Conn.; and Los Angeles. In Rome, the Knights will also be active, lending financial support to Vatican television's broadcast of the canonization ceremony, and hosting numerous pilgrims at K of C facilities.

"These two saints have each left very important legacies for the Church, and important examples of holiness for all of us," said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who worked with Pope John Paul II on several initiatives and will be in Rome for the canonizations. "Pope John XXIII led the Church into the Second Vatican Council, and Pope John Paul II served as its key interpreter, leaving the Church a profound legacy that continues to shape the third millennium of Christianity."

In Rome, the Knights of Columbus is providing nearly $100,000 to support Vatican Television's (CTV's) broadcast of the canonizations. In addition, the Knights of Columbus has opened two of its sports fields in Rome to give a thousand pilgrims – primarily from Poland – a place to camp while in Rome for the canonizations.

In Washington, D.C., the Knights will host a series of celebratory events at its National Shrine of Pope John Paul II beginning Saturday, April 26. The program will include a live, late-night simulcast of the canonization from Rome as well as liturgies, times of prayer, and veneration of a blood relic of John Paul II. In one of the weekend's highlights, the facility will be renamed the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in a ceremony on Sunday, April 27, just hours after the canonization. A full schedule of events is available at www.jp2shrine.org/jp/en/canonization/index.html

In New Haven, the Knights of Columbus Museum will be the end point for a procession beginning at St. Stanislaus Church following a prayer service at the parish at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 27. The service and procession will feature a relic of John Paul II: a fragment of the pope's bloodstained cassock from the 1981 attempt on his life. The relic is on loan from the John Paul II Shrine in Washington. The museum will also offer video presentations on the lives of the two new saints, children's activities and a talk on the new saints in the days surrounding the canonizations. A full schedule of New Haven events is available at www.kofcmuseum.org/km/en/resources/divine-mercy-sunday-canonization.pdf.

In Los Angeles, the Knights will be a major sponsor of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles' celebration at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral on the evening of April 26. The vigil will begin with a rosary and testimonials from people whose lives have been changed by Pope John Paul II. There will also be musical tributes by noted Catholic artists including Tony Melendez, who famously played for the Pope during his visit to Los Angeles in 1987. More information is available at: www.la-archdiocese.org/events/jpevent/Pages/default.aspx.