Friday, April 25, 2014


A young catholic pilgrim has died after he was crushed beneath a giant cross in Northern Italy.

21-year-old Marco Gusmini,was posing for photographs in front of the 100-foot wooden cross, which which bore a 20-foot, 1,300-pound statue of Chris, when it suddenly collapsed.

The reason for the sudden collapse is under investigation. Members of the young Catholic group he was traveling with were in Italy to attend a ceremony this week that will see the canonization of Popes John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Ironically the cross was dedicated to the late Pope John Paul II. In another strange twist, the young man lived on a street named after Pope John XXIII

John Paul II was the most traveled pope in history and made two trips to Canada.  I attended an outdoor mass in Pleasentville and shook his hand when he visited Newfoundland in September of 1984. The Pope came to help celebrate the 200th anniversary (1784-1984) of the establishment of the Catholic Church in Newfoundland.

The most recent one was for World Youth Day in 2002. His sainthood is the quickest canonization in modern history.

He was beatified in 2011 after two miracles, which are needed for canonization, took place. In once instance, the Vatican certified a French nun suffering from Parkinson’s disease was healed after she prayed to him. In another case, a Costa Rican woman’s inoperable brain aneurism disappeared after she prayed to John Paul.

The charismatic pontiff, led the world's 1 billion Catholics for 26 years, died at the age of 84 in April 2005.

The ceremony will start at 8:30 a.m. local time, with canonization mass celebrated by Pope Francis. Relics of John and John Paul will be presented during the liturgy. 

800,000 visitors are expected to attend.

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