For the past several days in the Eternal City, I’ve watched as people with varying degrees of interest and devotion stream in and out of St. Peter’s Square. The pope fascinates them by joy, by beauty. Whether or not all realize that Christ and Church teaching are the joy and the beauty behind he who their iPhones are snapping photos of is unclear, but their desire and the fact that there is something fulfilling here is quite obvious.

As at the Thanksgiving Mass celebrating a God who would give us holy men like the newly declared saints John Paul II and John XXIII, people of all ages applauded mentions of the family and the need to renew and preserve it. This seems a world away from most of ours — where often a lack of common vocabulary and experience brings us deeper into a chaos that divides and confuses.

These past few days here have been about unity and renewal. The “doubleheader” canonization here this weekend was a message in continuity — he who opened the Second Vatican Council and he who brought the Church into the modern world as he witnessed to bold, radical, courageous love…

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