A COALISLAND couple were among the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who flocked to Rome for the canonisation of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII.
The two towering figures of the 20th-century Catholic Church were declared saints at a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square.
Bosco McShane and his wife Lynette travelled from Coalisland to attend the historic event which they described as “an amazing experience”.
“We had been blessed to attend one of Pope John Paul’s last masses and then his funeral nine years ago”, Bosco told the TIMES. “We felt we just couldn’t miss being part of his canonisation and that of Pope John Paul XXIII.”
Bosco and Lynette joined the crowds who camped out from 2.30am to witness the ceremony and later attended Confession in the Sistine Chapel. Bosco added:
“So many young people, priests and nuns. This was an amazing testimony of the strength of faith. People sang through the night and as dawn came upon St Peter’s Square the excitement built.
“The responses and singing throughout the mass filled the city air and it came to a close with a massive applause. A real blessing for all present. The Holy Spirit was at work the next day with Enda Kenny inviting the Pope to Ireland so fingers crossed he will be welcomed by all in Ulster too.”