St. Peter's overflows for historic day of four popes

Photo courtesy Keith Smith of Westfield
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Hundreds of thousands of people packed St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Rome for a historic day.

Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II were both declared saints in the first ever canonization of two pontiffs. Pope Francis presided over the ceremony.

The ceremony was made even more historic by the presence of retired Pope Benedict. Hundreds of thousands of people traveling from all over the world packed the square for the ceremony.

Four students from Roncalli High School were at the Vatican for the sainthood ceremony Sunday morning.

"It's going to be a moment to remember for the rest of my life. I'm definitely going to be witnessing history in one of the most historic cities in the whole world. It's just going to be one of those things that I'm never going to forget," said Lucas LaRosa, Roncalli senior.

Pope John the XXIII has special significance to the south side school as its namesake. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli served as pope from 1958 until his death in 1963.

Pope Francis recited the saint-making formula in Latin, saying that after deliberating, consulting and praying for divine assistance "we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be saints and we enroll them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church."

Benedict was sitting off to the side with other cardinals in St. Peter's Square during the rite at the start of Sunday's Mass. He and Francis briefly greeted one another after Francis arrived.